Innovations from chemistry for vehicles of tomorrow
“BASF is front-runner in developing new solutions for the vehicles of tomorrow. Our global presence, innovation power, and many years of relationship with our customers in the automotive industry will help to make cars of the future not only safer, but also more efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Michael Heinz, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, at the opening of the BASF stand at IZB.
The automotive industry is one of BASF’s key customer industries. Sales to the automotive industry in 2011 were €9.5 billion making BASF the world’s largest automotive supplier in the chemical industry. It is recognized as a reliable and competent partner throughout the value chain, by carmakers and suppliers, and in the after-sales market. With its presence in Europe, Africa, North and South America, as well as in Asia, BASF has a global network.
Innovations from chemistry will offer important new approaches to mobility in the future. BASF anticipates that the chemical content of cars will rise in order to address inter-linked automotive trends including weight reduction, emission reduction, design, new powertrains, safety, and heat management.
In order to further increase the efficiency of vehicles and thus reduce fuel consumption, lightweight construction – such as replacing metal parts with plastic – is a key factor. Reducing the weight of a car by 100 kilograms cuts fuel consumption by around 0.4 liters per 100 kilometers. BASF plastics are helping to make this possible because plastic components used in bodywork, chassis, interior fittings and engine parts can weigh only half as much as their metal equivalents.
In the jointly developed concept car smart forvision, Daimler and BASF presented the first all-plastic wheel rim, which shows its potential for large-volume production. It consists of the long-glass-fiber-reinforced Ultramid® Structure and offers weight savings up to 30 percent compared to aluminum.
Foams from BASF are mainly used in car interiors. They are able to increase the occupants’ safety while simultaneously reducing the vehicle’s weight – and thus fuel consumption as well as emissions. Due to this, car interiors are not only more comfortable and quieter, but also more resilient and durable. Elastoflex® comfort foams are tailor-made products for all seating applications. The weight and height reduced polyurethane products ensure high comfort and they display outstanding continuous usage characteristics. Elastoskin® spray foams ensure high-quality and soft-touch surfaces for instance in instrument panels and door claddings. They provide significantly more design flexibility and are up to 30 percent lighter compared to conventional materials like PVC.