Germany-based ContiTech AG's Vibration Control group has developed a strut mount for General Motors Co.'s Cadillac brand using glass fiber-reinforced Ultramid nylon from BASF SE, as the primary structural component. The company claims it is the first strut mount made of this material, and it is used for both front and rear axles.
Compared with steel or aluminum strut mounts, the nylon variant is said to give a weight reduction of around 25 percent and a longer service life, while enhancing ride comfort because of the insulating rubber element.
ContiTech developed the strut mount in collaboration with Detroit-based GM for the Cadillac CT6, which goes into production late this year.
“High-performance plastics are the material of the future in the automotive industry,” said Kai Frühauf of ContiTech Vibration Control. “This strut mount designed for passenger car bodies represents another step forward.”
The spring strut mount of a passenger car is the connection between the spring strut and body. The mount enables precise, low-friction rotational movement of the spring strut in the front of the vehicle, ensuring optimum contact of the tire to the road, making steering easier.
As a chassis component, it is subjected to extreme stress from rain, road salt, debris and vibration. Failure of the strut mount can lead to increased road noise and reduced ride comfort.
ContiTech's two-section, three-path bearing is made from glass fiber-reinforced nylon, with aluminium components, and can withstand shock loading up to 75 kilonewtons, equivalent to driving a car along a badly potholed road, while delivering only minimal countertorque forces on the shock absorber.