Sheet molding compound (SMC) has been used for functional or fascia automotive parts such as front and rear panels for several years. When properly formulated, processed, and molded, SMC has a potentially substantial role in the manufacture of more structurally demanding automotive parts.
Through variations in the materials, equipment and processing techniques, different types of SMC can be produced. These are random fiber SMC (SMC-R); continuous fiber SMC (SMC-C); and directional fiber SMC (SMC-D).
Representative formulations show how static mechanical properties are dependent upon glass content, glass orientation, and on the test temperature.
Based on equivalent performance, these systems are lighter in weight than steel and are generally less costly, on a material basis, than aluminum.