Cologne – “Energizing Chemistry” is the slogan of the specialty chemicals group LANXESS, “Electrifying Motorsport” that of racing team eMotorsports Cologne. But there is more in common between the two Cologne-based organizations than their similar slogans – they also share a focus on future forms of mobility. That is why LANXESS has decided to become a premium sponsor of the young team from TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences and thereby support Formula Student – a design competition with more than 900 universities worldwide.
“Autonomous driving, e-mobility, and new infrastructure concepts are changing the automotive landscape – and with it the plastics industry. By 2025, around 80 percent of all vehicles produced worldwide will have alternative drives,” explains Jan Bender, head of marketing for EMEA in the LANXESS High Performance Materials (HPM) Business Unit. This future has already begun for Formula Student: since 2009, the team of 35 students from eMotorsports Cologne has been designing electrically powered racing cars. The team consists of passionate, young engineers from TH Köln. Every year, new, highly motivated team members from various courses of study organize themselves to develop and build racing cars completely on their own. “We want to be a pioneer, promote innovation, and shape the future of e-mobility. Our cars combine the latest engineering insights and cutting-edge technology to change the world of motorsport – and we’ve been doing it for nine years now,” explains Alexander Lerch, team leader of eMotorsports Cologne.
With its high performance plastics, LANXESS offers lightweight solutions – even for electric vehicles
LANXESS is also helping build the car of the future – though mainly those used off the racetrack: “We develop high performance plastics for lightweight applications for every area of the automobile. In addition to body elements, plastics are replacing traditional steel structures in the chassis and drive system,” Bender explains. The principle is comparable to that of the human skeleton, whereby the fibers in the composite materials provide the necessary stability to the plastics under stress. This trick makes it possible to produce plastic components in areas where the material was previously considered unsuitable. Even highly stressed brake pedals can now be made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic. This design reduces the weight of the brake pedal by more than 40 percent.
“The spirit, commitment, and passion to realize innovative electrical concepts impressed the team here at HPM and inspired us to support the young racing team at TH Köln as a premium sponsor,” explains Bender. “Electric racing cars must be extremely light to achieve the necessary range. With our experience, we feel we can certainly contribute in this regard.”
Formula Student Germany
Formula Student Germany (FSG) is an international design competition for students that has been held annually since 2006 by Formula Student Germany e.V. under the patronage of The Association of German Engineers. Every year, students from all over the world meet for five days at the Hockenheimring to test their self-constructed racing cars against each other in a Formula 1 atmosphere. The event also provides them with an opportunity to showcase their work to experts from the industry. The aim is to construct and manufacture a single-seat formula racing car and compete and win against teams from all over the world. At Formula Student, however, it isn’t the fastest car that wins, but the team with the best overall blend of design, race performance, financial planning, and sales arguments.
The aim of Formula Student is to supplement university studies with intensive experience in design and production as well as the economic aspects of automotive engineering. For instance, the race car must have excellent driving characteristics in terms of acceleration, braking force, and handling; at the same time, it must be inexpensive, reliable, and easy to operate. Its market value is further increased by other factors such as aesthetics, comfort, and the use of standard production parts.
The challenge for the teams is to design and build a prototype that best meets these requirements. A jury of experts from the motorsport, automotive, and supplier industries determine the best vehicle by evaluating the construction, cost, and business plans of each team in the static disciplines. The students then have to prove their self-constructed car’s abilities on the racetrack in various dynamic disciplines.
The LANXESS High Performance Materials BU
The HPM BU is part of the Engineering Materials segment at LANXESS, which generated revenues of EUR 1.36 billion in 2017. The business unit is active worldwide and maintains a presence in six countries. It employs a global workforce of around 1,600 employees at 13 sites worldwide.
This company release contains certain forward-looking statements, including assumptions, opinions, expectations and views of the company or cited from third party sources. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the actual results, financial position, development or performance of LANXESS AG to differ materially from the estimations expressed or implied herein. LANXESS AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor does it accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the opinions expressed in this presentation or the actual occurrence of the forecast developments. No representation or warranty (expressed or implied) is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, any information, estimates, targets and opinions, contained herein, and no liability whatsoever is accepted as to any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein, and accordingly, no representative of LANXESS AG or any of its affiliated companies or any of such person's officers, directors or employees accept any liability whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from the use of this document.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 9.7 billion in 2017 and about 19,200 employees in 25 countries. The company is currently represented at 74 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. Through ARLANXEO, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, LANXESS is also a leading supplier of synthetic rubber. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.