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SPE Automotive Division hosts record awards event.

SPE AUTOMOTIVE DIVISION HOSTS RECORD AWARDS EVENT

More than 1000 attendees crowded into Detroit's Westin hotel on November 14 for the SPE Automotive Division's 19th annual awards ceremony, honoring the most innovative uses of plastics in automotive components. The competition attracted 135 nominations, a record, exceeding last year's total by nearly 50%.

This year's Grand Award winner, a Chrysler Motors' fiberglass-reinforced composite passenger car wheel, was chosen from among the winners in eight specific categories. A first in the industry, the wheel is currently installed on 500 Dodge Shadow CSX vehicles now either on the road or ready for sale at dealers. Designed by Motor Wheel Corp., and compression molded by Goodyear, the wheel is composed of a three-ply hoop of Goodyear's XMC 65% long-glass and chopped fiber-reinforced resin on the periphery, and multply high-strength sheet molding compound, reinforced with 50% random glass fiber, for the hub. Forty percent lighter than a steel wheel and 10% to 20% lighter than an aluminum design, the composite wheel has undergone long-term and accelerated laboratory, proving ground, and field evaluations. The wheel took first place in the Chassis category.

The winners in the other seven major categories were:

General Motors, in the Materials category, for the 23% G-Wollastokup filler system with Spectrim polyurea for the front fender of the GM-200 APV (all-purpose vehicle).

General Motors, in the Process category, for improved productivity of components for the GM-200 APV with the AutoStyle horizontal reaction injection molding machine and Mobay's Bayflex polyurethane.

Ford, in the Powertrain category, for a universal joint with improved balance and cooler operation through use of a Zytel nylon thrust washer.

General Motors, in the Body Interior category, for a polypropylene fluidic airflow windshield defroster, used in the GM-200 APV. The unit's nozzle sweeps the defroster's airstream across the windshield in a radial, fan-like pattern, improving heat transfer and defrosting efficiency.

BMW, in the Body Exterior category, for the Z-1 sports car's vertical body panels of Xenoy polycarbonate/PBT and use of Lomod thermoplastic polyester elastomer.

Volvo/GM, in the Truck and Van category, for the one-piece instrument panel of 30% glass-reinforced Azdel polypropylene on Volvo/GM trucks.

Audi, in the International category (new this year), for the composite steering wheel for the Audi Quattro Coupe.

A Special Achievement Award went to the GM-200 APV for its extensive use of body panels of sheet molding compound on a high-volume application. The Trav Meister Hall of Fame Award, which honors a plastic application in continuous use for 10 years or more, was won by automotive storage battery containers of polypropylene copolymer, first introduced by American Motors (now Chrysler) in 1969.

The SPE Automotive Division's board of directors initially reviewed all entries and narrowed the field to three finalists in each category. A panel of judges from automotive and technical trade publications, and industry experts, then selected the winners. The General Awards Chairman was Terrence Q. Cressy of Du Pont Automotive Products.

PHOTO : Composite wheel, the Grand Award winner, was the leader in the Chassis category. It provides increased corrosion resistance, improved styling, expanded design flexibility, and of course, reduced weight - it is 40% lighter than a comparable steel wheel and 10% to 20% lighter than aluminum. The wheel contains a three-ply hoop of Goodyear's XMC 65% long-glass and chopped fiber-reinforced resin on the periphery, and multply high-strength sheet molding compound, reinforced with 50% random glass fiber, for the hub.

PHOTO : Selected for the Special Achievement Award, General Motors' GM-200 APV (all-purpose vehicle) features extensive use of sheet molding compound in structural body panels for a high-volume application.

PHOTO : Battery containers and covers molded of polypropylene copolymer, first used in 1969 by American Motors, received the Trav Meister Hall of Fame Award, which honors a plastic application in continuous use for 10 years or more.

PHOTO : BMW's Z-1 sports car, the Body Exterior winner, features panels of GE Plastics' Xenoy polycarbonate/PBT and Lomod thermoplastic polyester elastomer.

PHOTO : AutoStyle's horizontal reaction injection molded technology, designed for producing Pontaic Trans Sport APV body panels, won in the Process category.

PHOTO : Materials category winner, GM-200 APV's front fender, is made from Dow's Spectrim polyurea. It has improved heat sag resistance and surface appearance.

PHOTO : Polypropylene fluidic airflow windshield defroster, for GM-200 APV minivans, won the Body Interior Award.

PHOTO : Volvo/GM one-piece truck instrument panel, made

PHOTO : from GE Plastics' 30% fiberglass-reinforced Azdel, won in the Truck and Van category.

PHOTO : Universal joint thrust washer from Ford, the Powertrain winner, is molded in Du Pont's Zytel nylon 6/6.

PHOTO : Audi took the International Award for Quattro Coupe's steering wheel, made of a rim of filament-wound glass fiber composite and a random-glass reinforced hub.
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Author:Wigotsky, Victor
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Dec 1, 1989
Words:779
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