BASF and Mercedes-Benz Win Innovation Award for Advanced Automotive Foam Technology

An impact absorber made of the polyamide particle foam Ultramid® Expand, jointly developed by BASF and Mercedes-Benz, has won 2nd place in the “Enabler Technology” category at the SPE Automotive Awards 2024. Foto: BASF SE; 2024

(IN BRIEF) BASF and Mercedes-Benz have been awarded second place in the “Enabler Technology” category at the 2024 SPE Automotive Awards for their joint development of Ultramid® Expand polyamide particle foam. This innovative foam, part of the Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX program, serves as an impact absorber in vehicles, replacing traditional metal structures with a lighter, more cost-effective alternative. Ultramid® Expand not only enhances crash safety by absorbing and distributing impact forces efficiently but also withstands rigorous automotive standards and manufacturing processes. Its composition supports easy integration into car body structures and promotes sustainability through recyclability at the end of its lifecycle, marking a significant advancement in automotive materials technology.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUDWIGSHAFEN, 1-Jul-2024 — /EuropaWire/ — BASF SE (ETR: BAS), the world’s largest chemical producer, and Mercedes-Benz have been awarded 2nd place in the “Enabler Technology” category at the 2024 SPE Automotive Awards for their collaboration on the Ultramid® Expand polyamide particle foam. This innovative impact absorber, developed for the Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX technology program, aims to revolutionize automotive safety and efficiency.

Traditionally, impact absorbers in vehicles have relied on heavy and costly metal structures. However, Ultramid® Expand offers a superior alternative by significantly reducing weight while enhancing energy absorption during collisions. This polyamide particle foam not only meets rigorous automotive standards but also streamlines production processes, making it more cost-effective compared to traditional metal solutions.

Designed to withstand the stringent requirements of automotive applications, Ultramid® Expand excels in body-in-white painting processes and integration within car structures, thanks to its robust temperature resistance. Its composition, based on a blend of polyamide 6 types, allows for efficient molding without generating foam waste. This capability ensures ease of processing on existing equipment, further optimizing manufacturing efficiency.

Moreover, the foam’s compatibility with overmolding enhances its versatility, enabling the creation of hybrid components that can be fully recycled as thermoplastic systems at the end of their lifecycle. This feature underscores BASF’s commitment to sustainability by promoting a closed materials cycle without compromising component durability.

René Holschuh, Segment Manager Transportation at BASF Performance Materials Europe, emphasizes, “Ultramid® Expand represents a significant advancement in automotive technology, enabling innovative solutions that enhance safety, reduce weight, and support environmental sustainability. This recognition underscores our ongoing commitment to pushing the boundaries of materials innovation in the automotive sector.”

Together, BASF and Mercedes-Benz continue to pioneer advancements in automotive safety and efficiency with Ultramid® Expand, setting new benchmarks in plastic technology for vehicle engineering.

About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 112,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €68.9 billion in 2023. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the United States. Further information at


About BASF Performance Materials division

BASF’s Performance Materials division is at the forefront of the much-needed sustainability transformation in plastics. Our products are co-created with customers around the globe to bring innovations to major industry sectors such as transportation, consumer goods, industrial applications, and construction. Our R&D focuses on all stages of the plastics journey: Make, Use and Recycle. The MAKE phase is about improving how plastics are made, from product design to the choice of raw materials and the manufacturing process itself. The USE phase enhances plastics’ strengths such as light weight, robustness, and thermal resistance. At the end of the product lifecycle, the RECYCLE phase looks at how to close the loop to achieve a circular economy. In 2023, the Performance Materials division achieved global sales of €7.2 billion. Join #ourplasticsjourney at:

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