Development of Low Density Glass Mat Thermoplastic Composites for Headliner Applications 2000-01-1129
Glass-mat-thermoplastic (GMT) composites are frequently used in structural applications in the automotive industry. Typically, these materials are flow molded in a compression press and weigh 4000 - 4900 g / m2. In this paper, we present the development of low-density (700 -2000 g / m2), long-fiber GMT composites for applications in headliner and other interior components. The new thermoplastic headliner materials offer several advantages over existing headliner materials, including low weight and cost; high rigidity at elevated temperatures and high humidity; faster cycle time; recyclability; design flexibility; a more environmentally friendly production method; and reduction of raw material inventory compared to existing processes.
In this paper, we will discuss the mechanical and acoustical properties of this new headliner material and compare it with current headliner material substrates. The design flexibility and improved processability of GMT headliners for modular / structural configurations vs. current headliner materials will be discussed. Finally, commercial applications of this new materials technology on2000 MY vehicles will be reviewed.