- 1.2 specific gravity (SPg) SMC formulation
- Patented technology: treated glass bubbles replace CaCO3
Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) today introduced its Tough Class A (TCA) Ultra Lite, a 1.2 specific gravity (SPg) SMC formulation that provides engineers the ability to design with a lower specific gravity material without sacrificing mechanical properties, surface qualities and adhesion requirements. This material is already approved by major automotive OEMs and is programmed for a production vehicle beginning in January 2015.
Patented technology uses treated glass bubbles to replace some of the CaCO3
Specifically, Ultra Lite technology uses treated glass bubbles to replace some of the CaCO3, allowing the resin to adhere to the matrix and increase the interfacial strength between the bubble and the resin. This is a patented treatment technology that results in a more robust resin mix that makes molded parts more resistant to handling damage, and prevents the micro-cracks that cause paint pops, pits and blistering. The treated bubbles also help with paint adhesion and bonding characteristics. When combined with CSP’s patented vacuum and bonding manufacturing processes, the result is a material with a premium Class A finish with paint and gloss qualities comparable to metals, including aluminum.
SMC formulations with a range of different specific gravities
Depending on the body component being developed, design studies have shown that the material offers weight savings of up to 21 percent over the company’s mid-density TCA Lite (1.6 SPg), and 35 percent over its industry-proven standard TCA material (1.9 SPg). CSP’s complete line up of TCA materials offers OEMs a range of weight-savings options to meet demanding design challenges.
“TCA Ultra Lite is an affordable alternative to aluminum, and offers engineers all of the advantages that come with using SMC instead of metal in body design. The fact that we are seeing no degradation of mechanical properties means lighter parts do not have to be made thicker, or incorporate structural reinforcements, to maintain the desired performance qualities” explains CSP Chairman and CEO Frank Macher.