Corvette body panels win top SPE automotive award
The Society of Plastics Engineers’ automotive division selected an auto application by General Motors Co. (GM) as the Grand Award winner at its annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala.
The top prize went to GM for its materials category entry, class A body panels made using TCA Ultra Lite composite material from Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Continental Structural Plastics. The toolmakers are Century Tool & Gage and Paragon Die & Engineering Co. Used in the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette sports car, the new composite offers 28 per cent mass reduction compared to mid-density (1.6 SG) grades and 43 per cent compared to conventional (1.9 SG) SMC. “It provides greater benefits vs. metal, including reduced weight and tooling costs, enhanced design flexibility, corrosion and dent resistance, and superior surface finish,” SPE said. “Key to achieving the ultralow density was replacement of CACO3 with hollow-glass microspheres and use of a proprietary surface treatment to improve the resin/reinforcement interface.”
The other category winners, which included a variety of Canadian shops, were:
GM won for the self-mounted, transparent, frameless wind deflector on the 2016 Corvette Stingray convertible. The system is made with Sabic’s Lexan polycarbonate sheet, and was supplied by Polytec FOHA Inc. The tooling was supplied by Pace Machine Tool Inc.
Ford Motor Co. won for the push-to-release exterior fastener on the 2015 Mustang sports car. The two-piece, injection molded fastener is supplied by ITW Deltar Fasteners, the nylon 6/6 material from Ascend Performance Materials LLC, and the tooling from A&P Tool Inc. and M&M Tool and Mold LLC.
Ford won for the rear seat folding head restraint on its 2015 F-150 pickup. Windsor Machine Group – which is headquartered in LaSalle, Ont. – and Windsor, Ont.-based Hawk Plastics Ltd. supply the injection molded part, using polypropylene copolymer material from ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and tooling from Tecumseh, Ont.-based IRC Engineering.
Audi AG won for the glass fibre epoxy composite coil spring on the 2015 Audi AG Audi A6 Avant wagon. S. Ara Composite S.A.S is the Tier 1 supplier, and Hexion Inc. is the material supplier.
Ford won for the Repreve seat fabric made from a hybrid blend of 100 per cent recycled materials, including post-industrial fibre and post-consumer water bottles, used in the 2015 F-150 pickup. Johnson Controls Inc. and Sage Automotive Interiors supplied the system, and Unifi Manufacturing Inc. supplied the fibre.
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. won for the heated fuel tip injector on the 2015 Honda Fit subcompact and City sedan. Delphi Powertrain supplied the system, DuPont supplied the high-temperature nylon, and Coltelleria Baldi supplied the tooling.
Hyundai Motor Co. won for the injection molded instrument panel on the 2014 i20 Supermini. The system was supplied by Hyundai Mobis, and the TPO material was supplied by Hanhwa L&C.
Fiat Chrysler won for the mixed-material floor rocker reinforcement on the 2015 Jeep Renegade SUV. The Tier 1 supplier is Proma Group, the processor is Redstamp, and Sabic supplies the Noryl GTX 910 MPPE/PA material.
The awards were presented at the SPE’s annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala held on November 11 in Livonia, Mich.