ContiTech polyamide crossbeamGermany – The Hanover-based company has developed a transmission crossbeam from fibreglass-reinforced polyamide BASF Ultramid for the rear axle, which is used in all Mercedes-Benz models with all-wheel drive, excluding the AMG range. The new variant is 25% lighter than diecast aluminium.

ContiTech claims that the component offers optimum strength, good NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) performance and high crash protection. A central element of the rear axle, it supports the forces and torques of the rear axle transmission. Polyamide parts not only reduce weight but require less energy in production, being shaped at lower temperatures than aluminium. In combination with greater recycling possibilities, such materials are more environmentally friendly.

“The new rear axle transmission crossbeam is a milestone in the use of polyamides in the chassis and has the potential to set a new trend in the automotive industry,” commented Kai Frühauf, head of the ContiTech Vibration Control business unit.

“The fact that premium suppliers are among the forerunners shows the trust and confidence that engineers have today in the performance of our polyamide components for engines and chassis,” added Diethard Schneider, head of lightweight construction pre-development at ContiTech Vibration Control.