A composite challenges aluminum panels
Continental Structural Plastics
2017 - PACE Award Winner
What: TCA Ultra Lite lightweight composite
Innovation: Continental has made its TCA (Tough Class A) Ultra Lite 1.2 composite material a rival to large aluminum body panels by cutting its weight, reducing its cost and improving its surface quality. The innovations make this composite material more attractive than aluminum on low-volume vehicles.
First Customer: General Motors
Judge's Citation: Innovations in the 1920s propelled steel stampings into the material of choice for auto bodies, enabling today's beautiful painted surfaces. While inexpensive, steel is heavy, and with the focus on fuel mileage car makers are turning to costly alternatives such as aluminum to save weight. Through a series of game changing innovations Continental Structural Plastics, now part of Teijin, transformed sheet molding compound (SMC) into a paintable and light-weight material that in many applications is a cost-effective alternative to metallic body parts. First commercialized on the 2016 Corvette, CSP's TCA Ultra Lite is now in use by multiple OEM platforms on three continents.
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