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These resins enable production of lower-density Class A sheet molding compounds parts.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recently augmented Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard requirements have already spawned significant innovation in response. Composites research chemists at Ashland Performance Materials, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., are among those leading the way with new and different technologies.Then, one approach to meet CAFE standards is to design and produce lighter vehicles. Indded, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office, 10 percent reduction in vehicle weight can result in a 6 percent to 8 percent fuel-economy improvement.“Lower-density sheet molding compounds (SMC) introduced in the recent past did not provide sufficient strength and toughness while still maintaining Class A finish required for use in exterior body panels,” said Mike Sumner, Ashland group leader for SMC, Gelcoat, and Marine Resin. “Ashland has developed a 1.2 density Class A SMC material with higher physical properties including up to a 40 percent increase in flex and tensile strength and a 20 percent increase in modulus and elongation as compared to existing technology. The material also demonstrates increased substrate adhesion and impact resistance. Arotran 770 Tough Low-mass (TLM) Series resins will help engineers working for original equipment manufacturers meet both the regulatory and design parameters.”More information: www.ashland.com