Material And Design Guidelines For Reinforced Thermoplastic Body Panels 740262
This paper describes new reinforced thermoplastic materials that have been developed for rigid exterior, painted automobile panels. Traditionally these panels have been fabricated from zinc die cast, steel, or more recently from sheet molding compound (SMC). Guide Lamp Division of General Motors is injection molding mineral filled nylon, fiber glass reinforced nylon, and fiber glass reinforced thermoplastic polyester rigid exterior automotive panels that are painted car color for 1974 Chevelles, Cadillacs, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles and Buicks. The applications, material properties, paint performance, and design recommendations for these three reinforced thermoplastic materials are reviewed.