02 March 2001
02 March 2001
ValTek, LLC, the advanced technology business unit of Advanced Accessory Systems (AAS) has been issued U.S. Patent #6,132,669 for providing a new process called surface finishing compression (SFC) molding which is capable of producing Class A surfaced parts with structural properties. Applications include large automotive, recreational vehicle, truck, marine, and off-road panel parts. Multi-layer constructions are possible and 100% recyclable. The film finish and the article are compression molded simultaneously using commercially available vertical presses. The SFC molding process does not require pre-formed film inserts and eliminates painting and all the associated environmental concerns. ValTek has produced commercial-sized parts and has a significant database in processing conditions and resulting physical properties.
According to Art Delusky, technical director of ValTek, "The process is viable. Several OEM's and Tier 1's are moving forward with ValTek development parts, taking advantage of new film finishes, eliminating painting. This technology becomes most interesting when considering new paint startups where an expensive, complicated paint plant could be eliminated."
Advanced Accessory Systems is a leading global supplier of roof rack systems, towing systems and related accessories. Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Mich., the company has 2,200 employees in 24 facilities within 15 countries and has annual sales revenue in excess of $300 million.