From 2008 to 2009 I worked for 8 month at CONTINENTAL as a working student in the department "Competence Center Materials & Packaging" in Nürnberg.
Continental AG, commonly known as Continental, is a leading German automotive manufacturing company specializing in tires, brake systems, automotive safety, powertrain and chassis components, tachographs, and other parts for the automotive and transportation industries. Continental is based in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany. Continental is the world's 4th largest tire manufacturer. Continental was founded in 1871 as a rubber manufacturer, Continental-Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Compagnie.[6] After acquiring Siemens AG's VDO automotive unit in 2007 Continental was ranked fourth in global OEM automotive parts sales in 2009 according to a study sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP.
[Online] CONTINENTAL. [cited at: 10. April 2015.]

For further details see: CONTINENTAL

Most people know Continental as a manufacturer for tires. But the Continental TEMIC, as it is named properly, mainly produces electronical components for automotive engines, safety and passenger comfort.
During my work I was allowed to see several production steps and was involved in three projects. The first one was about the optimisation of optical sensors. The second concerns a change of the production, whereat a quality inspection of soldering joints was performed. My main work was about the cycle reliability of vertical interconnected accesses. Due to the code of silence and industrial secret no further details about the materials and results can be given.

To evaluate the sample several analysing methods, techniques and evaluation tools were used:

  • Dilatometer was used to measure thermal expansion
  • Thermomechanical analysis (TMA)
  • Tensile test
  • Metallographic analysis
  • Contact angle measurement
  • Electrical resistance measurement

Products of the devision engine and chassis
CONTINENTAL, schoolings
Metallographic cross section of an optical sensor
Water droplet on a solid surface. Thus the surface tension of the solid can be calculated by contact angle measurement.