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USCAR CONSORTIUM GETS FIRST JOINT-RESEARCH PATENT

 DETROIT, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A patent for the processing of liquid-molded composites, the first patent granted to a Big Three research partnership, recently was awarded to USCAR's Automotive Composites Consortium (ACC).
 "The new process will help reduce the overall weight of composite components and potentially will provide better fuel economy for future vehicles," said John Fillion, the consortium's chairman and manager of organic materials engineering at Chrysler Corporation.
 "The ACC invention simplifies a complicated manufacturing process and eventually will help Chrysler, Ford and General Motors save materials and improve component quality."
 The new technology eliminates the need for foam cores used to mold hollow composite parts. Foam cores currently are wrapped with a fiber reinforcement, then placed in a mold.
 A liquid resin is injected into the mold and impregnates the fiber to form the composite part. Once the process is completed, however, the foam core is "sealed" inside the component.
 The new method replaces the foam core with a blow-molded hollow core and reduces its weight by 10 percent or more.
 The ACC patent also will lead to greater design and manufacturing flexibility for polymer composite parts, according to Fillion. "With the new blow-molded core method, the fabrication of complicated shapes in composites may be simplified with no loss to the durability or structural integrity of the component."
 The Big Three's first major research and development consortium, the ACC was formed in 1988 to work on structural polymer composites. The ACC is one of 10 consortia currently grouped under USCAR, the United States Council for Automotive Research. USCAR was established in 1992 to facilitate, monitor and promote the growing number of cooperative, pre-competitive research and development programs under way between Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.
 "The ACC patent is a significant milestone," said Don Walkowicz, executive director of USCAR. "It clearly demonstrates that domestic auto manufacturers can work together effectively to develop basic technology that will lead to better, more efficient products and enhance the competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry."
 -0- 4/13/93
 /NOTE: For further information or interviews, CONTACT: Chris Hosford of Chrysler Corporation, 313-576-8094; or USCAR, 313-248-4300/
 (C F GM)


CO: United States Council for Automotive Research;
 Automotive Composites Consortium ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


JG -- DE001 -- 5055 04/13/93 08:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 13, 1993
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