ContiTech Develops Mounts for Tomorrow’s Engines
New concepts for low-emission engines
Limited resources, environmental pollution and rising energy prices: For years now, the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions has been gaining in importance. Engines are becoming smaller and more efficient, and vehicles lighter. ContiTech solves the new challenges involved in mounting such engines.
January 2012 Limited resources, environmental pollution and rising energy prices: For years now, the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions has been gaining in importance. Engines are becoming smaller and more efficient, and vehicles lighter. ContiTech solves the new challenges involved in mounting such engines.
Low-emission driving is now a major challenge facing the automotive industry. And new engine concepts will play a role in meeting that challenge. Hybrid and electric drives, as well as new materials like carbon, are changing the face of the industry. Smaller and more efficient engines for lighter cars, however, present other new challenges: in some situations, less sizeable engines can produce unpleasant vibrations, affecting large parts of the vehicle. “They can produce irritating noises and vibrations,” explains Hans-Jürgen Karkosch, head of advanced engineering for vehicle concepts at ContiTech Vibration Control.
Clever technology for more efficient engines
To enable more than one type of engine and drive system to be integrated into a single vehicle type, an engine mount has to cover a broad spectrum of functions. In order to provide the ideal solution for minimizing vibration in every power unit, ContiTech Vibration Control has developed a modular engine mount system for its customers. Here, different mounting systems are used that are specially suited to the type of power unit and to the overall package of features for the vehicle in question.
The modular system is based on a classic hydromount, which uses liquids to dampen vibrations. Thanks to an additional electromechanical ‘switching actuator’, its characteristics can be adjusted to ensure optimum comfort when idling engines produce excessive vibrations. Demands on engine mounts are particularly tough in vehicles that incorporate hybrid drive systems, engines with cylinder deactivation, and electric drives with range extender.
For these situations, ContiTech Vibration Control has developed a new generation of active mounting system as an additional component that generates counter-vibrations. Prototypes have already been tested successfully by a number of vehicle makers and in a wide range of vehicles. An active vibration control system consists of an actuator, which generates power, an electronic control unit, and sensors.
Active against vibrations
There are two active principles available: The active absorber system uses an electrical charge to generate vibrations in the actuator which are then channeled to the relevant parts of the car body. There, acting as counter-vibrations, they can almost fully cancel out the vibrations coming from the engine.
The second system is the active hydromount. Here, the actuator is integrated directly into the mount, where it works as a fluid pump. “This allows us to compensate effectively for low-frequency vibrations of between 20 and 40 Hz,” says Karkosch.
Eco-friendly driving pleasure
Active mount systems can also be used to produce specific vehicle sounds for the customer. This is done by setting up the system to reduce vibrations in one frequency range while increasing them in another.
As the auto industry moves closer towards the environmentally friendly car, alternative drives, downsizing and lightweight construction are making a major contribution – and active engine systems from ContiTech Vibration Control are an essential detail. “We still have plenty of potential for development. We’re already working on lighter actuators that take up less space and reduce the overall weight of the engine mount system even further,” adds Hans-Jürgen Karkosch.
ContiTech Vibration Control often make it their business to test active engine mounts at the Contidrome. From front to back: Dr. Hans-Jürgen Karkosch, Peter Marienfeld, Bernhard Uhrmeister, Robert Genderjahn, Stefan Preussler and Meinert Holst.