30 October 2009
30 October 2009
Pilot Automotive have developed a new composite heat shield, made using sheet moulding compound (SMC) supplied by SMC SA, which it intends to supply to the Ford Motor Company.
The heat shield, which is used to insulate the fuel tank from the high temperature of engine exhausts, presented the company with several challenges. Developers found that the composite required an unconventional chopped glass fibre loading of 50%. In addition to this, the compound also had to flow smoothly as it was being processed in heated matched metal dies on high compression presses.
“We needed a new compound very quickly if we were going to get the Ford heat shield business,” said Leandro S. Solofrizzo, Purchasing Manager for Pilot Automotive. “Jacinto Muxi and Yamandu Bermudez in charge of the production department at SMC SA met our needs in record time. Thanks to this, we added new business at a time when the automotive market is soft.”
The heat shield is the latest in the list of SMC components that Pilot Automotive makes for Ford and was formulated with AOC resin. AOC say that the resin is especially formulated for structural SMC applications that require higher mechanical properties when exposed to a hot or corrosive environment.
SMC SA produces moulding compound for automotive parts using unsaturated polyester resin from AOC. This resin was specified for its good fibre wetting characteristics, its high reactivity over a broad range of end-use applications, and smooth surface finish when used for appearance parts.
Pilot supplies components for car markers other than Ford, including Dodge, Peugeot and Citroën. Components are sold in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay.
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The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has partnered with Composites Australia to provide Australian civil and composite engineers with access to the latest knowledge on an innovative reinforcing solution to the costly corrosion of concrete infrastructure.
Composite products, based on polyurethane technologies from global chemical company Huntsman, are taking centre stage at a design exhibition at the Design Museum Gent, Belgium.