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Venture's Innovative, Lightweight Composite Sandwiform

02 March 2001

Venture Industries, a top-100 automotive supplier, announced that use of its lightweight, high-strength Sandwiform(TM) material is on the rise as automakers seek innovative ways to reduce vehicle weight and cut production costs. Sandwiform's high-performance capabilities make it ideal for a wide range of vehicle-wide applications including cargo load floors, engine shields, trunk panels, backrests, aerodynamic skid plates, spare wheel pans, and front and rear bumpers.

Venture's patented Sandwiform is a recyclable, composite material consisting of a ""honeycombed"" cellular core positioned between two thermoplastic skins reinforced with glass and polypropylene. Polypropylene is highly regarded for its heat and chemical resistance as well as for its ability to withstand wear and tear. The thermoplastic skins, tough and meltable for reuse, have a degree of elasticity between 5 and 20GPa, depending on fiber content and orientation. In contrast to more conventional thermoset resin composites, thermoplastics used in Sandwiform provide greater compound robustness due to their tougher matrix. They also offer enhanced formability and functional integration, consist of less expensive raw materials and can be processed faster. And, the ability to create living hinges and form deep draw shapes with structural integrity makes Sandwiform unique.

The strength of Sandwiform lies in its simplicity, says Frank Bradish, Venture's Director of Advanced Composite Systems Development. ""It's proven to be a robust and versatile material but the real advantages lie in its short lead time (4 to 8 weeks for a prototype) and its simple, inexpensive manufacturing process.""

Venture, headquartered in Fraser, Michigan, is a $2.4 billion global automotive supplier providing interior systems, cockpit modules, front-end systems, exterior trim as well as composite closure and body panels. http://www.ventureindustries.com.






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