Chassis & Hardware Category Finalists Announced for 2016 #SPEInnovationAwards Competition


The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) today announced the Chassis & Hardware Category finalists for its 46th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries. Nominations were first subjected to a pre-qualification review and then were presented before a panel of industry experts on September 29-30, 2016. That panel sent forward the most innovative nominations (category finalists) to the Blue Ribbon judging round, which was held October 10, 2016. Category and Grand Award winners selected during the Blue Ribbon judging round will be announced on the evening of November 9, 2016 during the 46th SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala.



Strut Mount

OEM Make & Model: 2016 General Motors Co. Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan

Tier Supplier/Processor: ContiTech North America, Inc.

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: BASF Corp. / Not stated

Material / Process:  Ultramid A3WG10CR 50% glass-reinforced (GR) PA 6/6 / injection molding

Description:  This is the first use of a glass-reinforced PA material for strut-mount housings on all 4 corners of a vehicle and the first application of polyamide housings on the front and rear suspension systems. The injection molded parts integrate common components for both front and rear mounts, and employ a special thread assembly method with a locking feature.  They reduce mass 30% vs. typical steel and aluminum parts and reduce noise transmission through the suspension system. Thanks to modular assembly, the design also offers greater tuning flexibility.

Rear Differential Cross-Member

OEM Make & Model: 2016 Daimler AG Mercedes S-Class luxury sedan

Tier Supplier/Processor: ContiTech North America, Inc.

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: BASF Corp. / Not stated

Material / Process:  Ultramid A3WG10CR 50% GR-PA 6/6 / injection molding

Description:  This is said to be the first application where a PA/glass composite has been used as a cross-member to support the rear differential and complete the rear cradle of a vehicle. By replacing traditional parts in steel or aluminum, the injection molded glass-reinforced PA 6/6 design offered parts integration opportunities, is cost neutral, reduces noise transmission from the driveshaft, and reduces mass 25%, helping improve fuel economy and reduce tailpipe emissions. The grade used has been optimized for dynamic loads and is controlled with tighter production specifications.

Latching Refueling Valve

OEM Make & Model: 2017 Ford Motor Co. Ford Fusion & Lincoln MKZ hybrid EVs

Tier Supplier/Processor: Continental Automotive / Advanced Molding Tech – USA

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: DuPont Automotive / Xinpoint

Material / Process:  Zytel HTNWRF51G30 30% GR polyphthalamide (PPA) / injection molding

Description:   This challenging new design demanded a unique material with consistent properties after prolonged exposure to fuels, superior wear characteristics, stable coefficient of friction over a wide temperature range, superior fuel swell and exposure resistance, and superior molding capabilities to properly fill tight-tolerance micro-features. An injection molded 30% GR-PPA with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) micro-powder (to enhance wear characteristics) met all requirements. The application saved over $10 USD/vehicle and reduced energy consumption vs. the previous valve. The novel technology has led to 1 issued and 7 pending patents.

Outer Handle

OEM Make & Model: 2017 Ford Motor Co. Lincoln Continental luxury sedan

Tier Supplier/Processor: ADAC Automotive

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: SABIC / not stated

Material / Process: Cycoloy C1200HF PC/ABS / injection molded

Description:  This application is industry’s first belt-integrated, outside door handle with switch activation to open both front and rear doors. The slender, minimalist, all-plastic, high-luster chrome-finish handle provides effortless operation, luxury feel, and quiet operation. The injection molded PC/ABS part with integrated zinc casting also features an e-handle with power-release switch to deliver a sleek, uninterrupted form that reduces mass 20% and cost 35% vs. conventional bond-on-bracket designs.


Interested in attending this year’s event?  There is still time to buy individual tickets or tables of 10 seats. Register here.

For more information, see http://speautomotive.com/inno and http://speautomotive.com/awa .

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