Experts present state-of-the-art technology in acoustics

Autoneum, formerly Rieter Automotive Systems, hosted the first Automotive Acoustics Conference in Zürich, Switzerland, in July in co-operation with ATZlive. In more than 20 presentations, international experts presented the latest developments for improving vehicle noise and comfort.

The main topic discussed during the two days of the conference was the optimisation of interior noise and the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) behaviour of materials, components and systems.

In response to the latest developments in the automotive industry, the conference was also dedicated to the special acoustic requirements of electric and hybrid power-trains.

“The high number of top-class presentations and the more than 180 participants from major vehicle manufacturers and suppliers based in Europe, the USA and Asia prove that acoustics is of great importance in vehicle development,” said the scientific director of the conference, Dr Maurizio Mantovani of Autoneum. “The growing demands made by the end customers and stricter legislation are now playing an important role in the optimisation of acoustics.”

Under the patronage of Prof Paolo Ermanni of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), the international Acoustics Conference 2011, which evolved from the Rieter Automotive Conference and the ATZlive Acoustics Conference, offered a wide range of expert know-how.

Autoneum presented its technical expertise as an automotive supplier in various presentations. In an exhibition accompanying the conference, the company showed various product solutions that meet the demands of end customers and the legislative bodies.

The thermo-acoustic engine encapsulation improves fuel economy by keeping the engine bay warm to allow more efficient cold starting. This leads to savings of up to 5 g of CO2/km per vehicle. At the same time, the engine encapsulation considerably reduces engine noise.

With the new Hybrid Acoustics product range, Autoneum presented a promising innovation offering weight reduction of up to 50% compared with a conventional solution for engine bay rear bulkhead insulation.

The company has also developed new generations of heat shields and carpet systems to allow weight optimisation while achieving a high acoustic and thermal management performance. Weight reduction is the most crucial factor for lowering the CO2 emissions of vehicle fleets, says Autoneum.

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Tencel offered for automotive applications

With increasing calls for eco-friendly vehicles, sustainable raw materials and vehicle recycling, Austria’s Lenzing presented new applications for its Tencel cellulosic fibre and powder for the automobile sector at Techtextil 2011.

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Ford seat monitors driver’s heart rate

A seat that can monitor a driver’s heart rate and help older drivers known to have heart conditions has been developed by a team from Ford’s European Research and Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany, and the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen University.

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Low-cost blended carbon fibre yarns and fabrics

A multi-partner UK project, Fibrecycle, has developed a new generation of high-performance, low-cost co-mingled carbon fibre yarns and fabrics, with funding support from the Technology Strategy Board.

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Zoltek restructures carbon fibres business

Zoltek has restructured its carbon fibre business into three units focusing on wind energy, composite intermediates, and technical fibres.

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Further sales decline for Lantal Textiles

In 2010 Lantal Textiles’ consolidated sales declined to CHF82m from CHF86m a year ago.

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Rieter Automotive to become Autoneum

Shareholders of Switzerland’s Rieter Group have approved a proposal to separate its Textile Systems and Automotive Systems divisions into two distinct listed companies with independent ownership and management.

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