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BASF’s Engineering Plastics business scores big in the Powertrain category for the third year in

Ultramid® 1503-2F polyamide is the material of choice in the Powertrain Winner – General Motors Company's battery pack for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt

The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers International (SPE®) held its 41st Annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala at Burton Manor in Livonia, Michigan, last week. More than 40 parts were entered in the competition and for the third year running, a part using BASF plastics won the Powertrain category. 

“BASF is very excited to win the Powertrain category for the third year in a row,” said Marianne Morgan, Powertrain Sector Leader for BASF’s Engineering Plastics Business in North America. “We always strive to work with our customers to develop innovative solutions and it’s nice to be recognized for that.”
Powertrain category winner 

General Motors Company (GM) was awarded the innovation award in the Powertrain category for the battery pack in the 2011 Chevrolet® Volt® extended-range electric car. GM, MANN+HUMMEL and BASF collaborated on the battery cell frames, combining their material and design expertise. The battery requires 135 cell frames, which must maintain both dimensional stability and hydrolysis resistance over the lifecycle of the battery. Both cost and weight were saved through designing the part utilizing Ultramid 1503-2F polyamide, a hydrolysis resistant PA 66, 33 percent glass reinforced resin. 

The weight savings provides additional performance benefits in the form of extended range in comparison to a similar design in metal. Because of Ultramid’s quality and BASF’s production control, MANN + HUMMEL can replicate tight tolerance parts time after time. Maintaining dimensional stability across the cell frames was critical for both the assembly and the long-term performance requirements of the application. Consistent quality of the battery frame is crucial for a high-performance battery system. The previous two wins in SPE Automotive’s Powertrain category were for BASF’s Ultramid A3EG7 polyamide that was used on Ford Motor Company’s Diesel-Exhaust Fluid (DEF) System and BASF’s Ultramid B3ZG7 OSI polyamide that was the material used on the thermoplastic oil pan for the Ford® F-Series® Super Duty pickup truck’s 6.7-liter Powerstroke® diesel engine