BASF’s Ultramid Expand receives SPE Automotive Award
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BASF’s Ultramid Expand receives SPE Automotive Award

Ultramid Expand reduces the vehicle component’s weight and production costs

  • By ICN Bureau | July 03, 2024

An impact absorber made of the polyamide particle foam Ultramid Expand jointly developed by BASF and Mercedes-Benz for the Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX technology program has won 2nd place in the "Enabler Technology" category at the SPE Automotive Awards 2024.

SPE stands for Society of Plastics Engineers, which honors outstanding developments in plastic parts for vehicle engineering every year.

The purpose of an impact absorber is to absorb and distribute the forces arising in a crash and transfer them to the vehicle body. Metal structures, complex and expensive to process, are often used for this. Ultramid Expand offers several advantages here: Using the polyamide particle foam reduces weight and improves energy absorption in the event of an impact. The production process is also more cost-effective than for metal structures.

Ultramid Expand is ideal for use in the automotive sector. Ultramid Expand is a particle foam that withstands the body-in-white painting process, can be used as a reinforcing insert in later closed structures of the car body and can be installed in the body-in-white due to its high temperature resistance. The particle foam fulfils the demanding requirements of the automotive industry for the interior and for long-term use.

Another benefit is that the polyamide particle foam lends itself excellently to overmolding with materials of the same material. “This enables completely new types of hybrid components that can be recycled as single-material thermoplastic systems at the end of their life cycles,” René Holschuh, Segment Manager Transportation at BASF Performance Materials Europe, stresses. “Ultramid Expand can therefore help to close the materials cycle – without compromising the mechanical properties of the components during their service life.”

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