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BASF to show plastic wheel concept at Detroit Auto Show

BASF will showcase some of its key automotive technology products, both existing and under development, at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show. Among those will be the world’s first full plastic wheel concept that shows high potential for mass production, made from BASF's impact-resistant specialty polyamide Ultramid Structure. The wheel is more than 30% lighter than a standard production aluminum wheel and significantly contributes to vehicle weight reduction.

The plastic wheel also made an appearance on the new concept electric vehicle jointly developed by Daimler and BASF, that premiered at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt last September. (Earlier post.)

Other products BASF will show in Detroit include:

  • The official North American launch of the Ultramid ENDURE line of plastics, which is a highly heat-resistant family of products that are suitable for replacing metal in automotive engines, helping to reduce weight and cost.

  • The company’s material-and-weight-saving thermoplastic seat back frame, developed in conjunction with Faurecia, which integrates the seat frame and back panel into one structure that enables the reduction of foam and simplifies the trimming process.

  • BASF’s ULTRASIM, a CAE tool that helps automotive customers create virtual product prototypes and optimized (multi-material) designs that result in finished mass-produced components with marked weight and cost improvements.

  • The company’s HED cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries (LIB), which can offer higher energy density, safety and efficiency and help meet the evolving requirements of batteries in automotive drivetrains. In addition, BASF offers tailor-made electrolytes to the LIB industry.

  • A comprehensive toolkit of innovative catalyst technologies to enable automotive OEMs to cost-effectively meet ever tightening emission regulations, such as LEV III.

  • BASF’s automotive coatings portfolio, which includes OEM coatings and automotive refinish coatings to the collision repair / refinish industries.

  • A collection of BASF Polyurethane Solutions ranging from lightweight components for the car body, instrument panels, foam seating, center consoles, headrests and load floors, to soft touch Elastoskin on the door panel skins, Cellasto Microcellular Elastomer to improve NVH, and Elastollan Thermoplastic Polyurethanes in door handles.



Excellent future possibilities to further reduce vehicles weight. In wheel e-motors will become a reality to increase efficiency and simplify of future BEVs.


Not a word on the recyclability of these advanced plastics. When the marketeers are silent about something, that ususally says more than the informaton they do give you.

Recyclability (cradle to cradle) will become ever more important. Not just by regulation, but also by customer demand and resource constraints.

Introducing a new plastic without that crucial factor in mind is not good business. BASF will have to get its act together, otherwise they go the way of the dinosaur.

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