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ROCKWELL DEVELOPING SEVERAL BREAKTHROUGHS IN ADVANCED AUTOMOTIVE PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY

 ROCKWELL DEVELOPING SEVERAL BREAKTHROUGHS
 IN ADVANCED AUTOMOTIVE PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY
 TROY, Mich., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Rockwell International Corporation (NYSE: ROK) has made significant progress in several new automotive plastics composite technologies that will have a substantial impact upon the way plastic automotive products are produced in the future, William J. Laule, vice president and general manager of Rockwell's Plastic Products, said.
 Laule said the list of recent technological breakthroughs at Rockwell's newly expanded plastics materials and testing laboratory is long, but identified some of the most promising new material and processing developments.
 "These technological advances have been made possible because Rockwell continues to invest heavily in research and development," Laule noted.
 "We were able to attract some very talented technical people to our expanded staff and have greatly enlarged our plastics materials and testing laboratory in Troy, where all of the new materials and processes are being developed," he said.
 "In some cases, particularly with respect to our work in developing materials and methods for producing high heat resistant bulk molding composites for applications such as rocker arm covers, the impact upon the automotive plastics industry could be significant," Laule said.
 Some of the major programs identified by Laule now are being phased into production, while others are still in the development phase.
 -- A new "high heat resistant" bulk molding composite (BMC). The resin matrix of this new material is able to withstand temperatures 20 percent higher than composites new being used to produce engine valve rocker arm covers.
 The "high heat resistant BMC withstands heat and maintains its rigidity in constant heats up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods of time without becoming pliable. The material has successfully passed molding tests and is now undergoing customer verification testing.
 -- A structural reaction injection molding (SRIM) material and process for producing very high strength vehicle structural components. Advanced SRIM resins are used with a state-of-the-art cost-effective preform process. The process precisely aligns reinforcing glass strands in the resin matrix to attain specific, repeatable, high strength properties. This material can take the place of steel in many automotive body structural member applications.
 -- A low-density sheet molding composite (SMC) for applications where exterior surface appearance is not critical, which is 25 percent lighter than existing SMC materials.
 Now being tested in various products on an experimental basis, this material results in panel assemblies that are significantly lighter than comparable SMC panel assemblies.
 -- A flexible SMC outer surface Class "A" body panel material that will flex considerably under low-impact forces and return to its original shape without permanent deformation. It is being tested in door panel and fender applications.
 -- Advanced "very high heat" resistant composite matrixes, including phenolics, that will meet the extremely high peak temperature requirements of virtually any underhood engine application, except exhaust systems. These new composites will have the capability to displace aluminum engine covers in various advanced product development programs.
 -- A material and molding method for producing one-piece plastic composite body panels, which would eliminate the need for bonded two- piece inner and outer panel assemblies. This development would have a tremendous impact on automotive plastics processing, since it would greatly reduce tooling costs, processing costs, and speed the production process.
 Rockwell Plastics is a major automotive plastic products supplier, which applies a very wide range of composites technologies. They include sheet molding composites (SMC), vinylester sheet molding composites (VESMC), bulk molding composites (BMC), resin transfer molding (RTM), glass mat thermoplastics (GMT), structural reaction injection molding (SRIM), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
 Plastic Products is headquartered in Troy, where its newly expanded plastics materials and testing laboratory and product development center are located. It operates production facilities in Centralia, Ill., and Lenoir and Newton, N.C.
 Rockwell International is a multi-industry company applying advanced technology to a wide range of products in its electronics, aerospace, automotive and graphics businesses.
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: R.H. Pacini of Rockwell, 313-435-1752/
 (ROK) CO: Rockwell International Corporation; Rockwell Plastic Products ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


JG-DC -- DE005 -- 2237 02/25/92 10:00 EST
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Date:Feb 25, 1992
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