Conti cuts weight of airsprings

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Conti cuts weight of airsprings

Post  Administrator on Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:34 am

Conti cuts weight of airsprings
15 August 2011

Hannover, Germany -- Continental AG says it has developed a range of light-weight airsprings which can reduce the weight on a truck axle by up to 12 kg per axle.

The key development is to replace the steel piston shaft with a hollow thermoplastic component. ContiTech Air Spring Systems claims to be the only manufacturer worldwide to succeed in mass-producing truck air springs with an innovative cylindrical plastic piston. The cavity within the piston is used as part of the air suspension technology. This innovation can reduce the weight of the piston by up to 75 percent, said Conti.

The innovation is being used for the first time on the drive axles of the new Actros from Mercedes-Benz. “We had to spend a long time looking around in the market before finding a raw material manufacturer with the relevant know-how for the material and the necessary analysis skills,” says Diethelm Bauch, the segment manager in charge at ContiTech, talking about the development process. “We carried the idea around with us for a long time.”

Air spring systems with plastic pistons have been used for many years now, particularly in trailers. However, these conventional systems only use the bellows volume for riding comfort. The associated pistons are generally completely closed. “Not until we had found the right raw material, the necessary analysis skills and an intelligent product design could we achieve the strength which allows us to produce an open plastic system with a useful piston volume for the first time,” emphasises Diethelm Bauch. “This revolution gives the Actros, together with the sleeve-type air springs produced by us for supporting the driver's cab, much greater riding comfort and also gives our company a clear edge over the competition.”

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