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Corvette gets first carbon-fiber hood. (Composites).

The hood for the General Motors' 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Commemorative Edition scores several "firsts" for carbon-fiber composites. For one thing, it's said to be the first time such a material has been used as original equipment on a painted, Class-A exterior body panel on a North American production vehicle. It's also described as the first introduction of aerospace-quality advanced composites into a traditional automotive assembly line.

The panels are produced by MacLean Quality Composites in West Jordan, Utah, an operating unit of MacLean Vehicle Systems, Mundelein, Ill. Weighing only 20.5 lb, the carbon-fiber hood is 10.6 lb lighter than the standard fiberglass SMC hood. The Class-A outer skin is only 1.2 mm (0.048 in.) thick, similar to stamped sheet metal, and is the thinnest plastic-composite skin on a production vehicle. (SMC typically is 2 to 2.5 mm thick.)

That outer skin is of carbon-fiber/epoxy unidirectional prepreg supplied by Toray Composites (America), Inc., Tacoma, Wash. The hood's inner structure is a hybrid of carbon-fiber SMC and low-density fiberglass SMC.
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Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2003
Words:175
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