According to a report by CarScoops, General Motors has changed the plastic compound that was used to make the plastic body panels of the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette.
The new compound called TCA Ultra Lite is manufactured by Continental Structural Plastics Inc. The sheet moulding compound featuring glass microspheres replaces the calcium carbonate filler helping it to reduce weight, a report by PlasticsNews suggested.
The 2016 Corvette features 21 body panels made from this lighter plastic material leading to a reduction in weight by 20 pounds or 9 kilograms. It is also stated that the new compound plastic panel can endure the E-coat process and has also been accepted in the OEM paint tests.
For manufacturing up to 150,000 vehicles, the compound plastic panel is said to be ideal in reducing the tooling costs by 50 to 70 percent when compared to steel and aluminium.
“In materials engineering, shaving a single pound per car is a significant accomplishment, so saving 20 lbs per car is monumental” said Tadge Juechter, chief engineer/vehicle line director of the Chevrolet Corvette. The company is constantly on a lookout to improve performance on the Corvette, and the weight reduction could be considered a step in the same direction, he added.
The weight saving of 9 kilograms mentioned is for the Hard Top variant of the Corvette. If it is applicable to the Convertible version as well as increase in performance and efficiency figures, were not mentioned by the company.
[Source – CarScoops]