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ContiTech and BASF Reach New Milestone in Lightweight Construction


Joint Press Release from ContiTech Vibration Control and BASF

* First plastic transmission cross beam
* AVK Innovation Award for new component in BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo 550i
* Close development partnership between BMW, BASF and ContiTech

Hanover and Ludwigshafen - New applications for lightweight components are constantly being found in the automotive sector. For the first time, a transmission cross beam has been manufactured of the plastic polyamide and used as standard in the new BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo 550i. By choosing Ultramid® A3WG10 CR instead of aluminum, it was possible to reduce the weight of the part by 50%. The cross beam, which was developed by ContiTech Vibration Control in close cooperation with BMW and BASF, received an award just a few days after standard production of the vehicle got started: In the Industry category, it landed the first place Innovation Award conferred by the Federation of Reinforced Plastics (AVK).

The transmission cross beam – a structural component designed to withstand high load – is the direct link to the engine-transmission mount. It contributes to the overall rigidity of the vehicle and supports the forces and torque of the engine-transmission unit. ContiTech produces the component from exceptionally strong polyamide in an injection molding process. With the help of BASF’s ULTRASIM™ development instrument, it was possible to reduce the weight by 1 kg compared to the same component made of metal – a milestone in lightweight car construction. In addition to weight reduction, development focused on optimum vehicle acoustics and crash safety. As proven by elaborate testing, these two goals were achieved.

Furthermore, the developers managed to ideally adapt the component to the available installation space. The plastic transmission cross beam also fully satisfies the high temperature requirements that result from the proximity to the exhaust system. Another advantage is better recyclability. ContiTech thus contributes to sustainability with this product as well.

About ContiTech

ContiTech AG, Hanover, is the world’s largest specialist for rubber and plastics technology in the non-tire rubber sector. The company develops and produces functional parts, components and systems for the automotive industry and other key industries. It has a workforce of around 21,000. In 2008, it posted sales in the order of €3 billion. ContiTech is a division of Continental AG, one of the world’s major automotive suppliers, with sales of more than €24 billion in 2008. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. The corporation currently employs approximately 134,000 at nearly 190 locations in 35 countries.

About BASF

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals and oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €62 billion in 2008 and had approximately 97,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at .


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