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Aluminium foil gasbag insuspension system creates new comfort level for Mercedes-Benz passengers

Wipf (of Switzerland)  has helped in the development of a totally new suspension system, with its aluminium foil Gasbag for E-Active Body Control technology, for Mercedes- Benz’s latest GLE model. This has been recognised by the Alufoil Trophy 2020 judges with a special award for Innovative Use of Aluminium Foil. E-Active Body Control, which incorporates the gasbag, influences the lift and yaw of the body when cornering, accelerating and braking.

“This is a fantastic story of how technology using aluminium foil has enabled improvements to technology elsewhere,” commented head judge Veith Behrmann, Group Packaging Manager for Nestlé Nespresso. “This gasbag leverages aluminium foil’s properties to the maximum and is a highly innovative use of the material – the highlight being that it is associated with such a premium brand.”

The gasbag consists of a laminate with a thickness of about 200 microns. It features a layer of high-density aluminium foil and several layers of various polyamide films. The aluminium assures very high impermeability to gas. With the polyamides, the laminate and a filling port can be converted into a gasbag inflated with nitrogen while preserving mechanical, thermal, and chemical stability in hydraulic fluid.

“We are delighted to have been awarded an Alufoil Trophy 2020. The award recognises the many years of close collaboration with the customer in the development phase and we are proud to have found a solution with our proprietary gasbag. This was all made possible through working closely with the individual partners – from the customer to the machine designers,” commented Othmar Wohlhauser, CTO of Wipf.

The company explains that it is only thanks to the aluminium foil that the gasbag laminate can be produced with inductive sealing units to achieve a very homogenous seal seam and seam strength to address the special requirements imposed on it. The aluminium laminate also allows the production of pouches exclusively with inductive sealing and additional inline spout sealing. The special aluminium alloy, with minimised pinholes, achieves a very low gas permeation rate which is necessary for its deployment in Mercedes’ E-Active Body Control suspension system.

The Alufoil Trophy is organised by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). There are five categories – Consumer Convenience, Marketing + Design, Product Protection, Resource Efficiency and Technical Innovation. Judges also gave two awards for Innovative Use of Aluminium Foil. For the Alufoil Trophy 2020 there were seven winners. Further information: Patrick Altenstrasser, Manager Communications communications@alufoil.org

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