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Design Injection-moulded component world’s first plastic engine support

Editor: Eric Culp

The use of plastic cuts the part weight by 30%, improves sound dampening.

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The good acoustic characteristics are the primary benefit of the plastic engine support (l.) over its aluminium counterpart.
The good acoustic characteristics are the primary benefit of the plastic engine support (l.) over its aluminium counterpart.
(Source: BASF)

German carmaker Daimler is installing the world's first plastic engine support for the six-cylinder diesel engine used in the new Mercedes-Benz GL Class of crossover SUVs, according to plastics manufacturer BASF, which supplied the material.

It said that compared to the previous aluminium support, the component has improved acoustical properties, better thermal insulating characteristics and a definite weight advantage with the same load bearing. These factors allowed the part to meet the demanding mechanical requirements for this “challenging and also crash-relevant application”.

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The part, which supports the engine with the aid of the engine mounts, is moulded from Ultramid A3WG10 CR, a highly reinforced specialty polyamide optimised for high mechanical loads, BASF said. Joma-Polytec in Bodelshausen, Germany, designed the tool and is manufacturing the component.

Torque supports already used by automakers in versions of this plastic only transmit the tilting moment of the engine, BASF said. “In contrast, engine supports are subject to a permanent load – the engine's weight – while absorbing ... the entire engine torque,” BASF said. “They have always been made from aluminium.”

The use of plastic cuts the part weight by over 30%, the company said. But the lower weight is only one advantage. The good acoustic characteristics are the primary benefit of the engine support over its aluminium counterpart, the company said. “Thanks to the damping behaviour specific to plastic, the new engine support contributes to a more balanced sound.”

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