SMC Compounding Process Control and Automation 810744
This is a status report covering ongoing development work on the compounding process used to produce sheet molding compound (SMC). This material is used in compression molding to produce fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) parts of which the Corvette body and most grille opening panels are typical. The goal of this work is to improve the quality of the SMC material to facilitate its use in more demanding applications of the future, such as large exterior body panels. Specific areas being addressed include the reproducibility and uniformity of sheet weight, glass content, and thickening rate. A new SMC machine has been built for studying process modifications and computer control. This paper will review the goals, approaches and equipment involved in this work.