ZF wins major order for lightweight, plastic passenger car engine mount

Lightweight design is one of the key technologies when it comes to reducing the energy consumption of vehicles.
However, automotive manufacturers and suppliers are not able to draw on a superordinate patent solution. In actual fact, the sum of individual weight reductions in numerous passenger car components represents the key to success. Thus, ZF Friedrichshafen AG developed a pioneering rubber-plastic engine mount that immediately convinced Renault-Nissan: it dampens vibrations just as effectively as previous rubber-metal constructions yet weighs approximately 25 per cent less.
Shortly after the production starts, it is already being produced in six model-specific versions for small and compact cars, as well as electric cars of Renault-Nissan. These are made-to-measure in the housing, rubber interior part, and support arm engine mount components respectively. “Our objective was to increase the maximum lightweight construction potential of standard engine mounts and to further optimise both functionality and reliability,” explains Dr Torsten Bremer, Head of the Rubber and Plastics business unit of the Chassis Technology division.
The ZF engineers mastered this challenge by implementing the engine mount housing using fibre-glass reinforced polyamide instead of aluminium continuous casting as was previously the case. A total weight reduction of 25 per cent is achieved — thanks to the use of the plastic housing. However, it is crucial that the component remains just as efficient and stable as its predecessor. Furthermore, the part is completely insensitive to corrosion and 100 per cent recyclable.
Thanks to its modular construction, the ZF plastic engine mount can also be designed for various types of engines and vehicles at anytime.
“In the automotive industry, we are currently noticing a marked trend towards plastic lightweight construction or downsizing and, as a result, we are also seeing a trend toward increased measures for environmental protection. Moreover, other vehicle manufacturers are intensively testing our innovation for their passenger car models,” Dr Torsten Bremer reveals.

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