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BASF wins award for reducing vehicle weight

By: Rhoda Miel

August 5, 2013

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. — BASF Corp. has won the first Altair Enlighten Award, honoring weight reduction efforts in the auto industry, for its development of a thermoplastic seat pan structure.

The thermoplastic composite seat part replaced a metal structure in General Motors Co.'s Open Astra passenger car in Europe, cutting weight by 45 percent. It uses two Ultramid Polyamide resins with glass reinforcement, injection molding and overmolding to produce a seat pan that is 0.8 kilograms compared to 1.5 kilograms.

Altair announced the winner of the Enlighten Award during the Management Briefing Seminars Aug. 5 in Traverse City. The engineering company, with automotive offices in Troy, Mich., and the Center for Automotive Research of Ann Arbor, Mich., co-sponsored the award.

Plasan Carbon Composites of Burlington, Vt., and ArcelorMittal of Luxembourg were joint runners up.