"Lightweighting continues to be a critical challenge, and clearing the hurdle of good surface appearance in vertical walls will help the automotive industry take advantage of the benefits of composites."
Owens Corning (NYSE: OC), a leading global producer of glass fiber reinforcements for composite systems, today announced two products that add to its suite of Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) solutions. Both products use Owens Corning's patented, boron-free Advantex® glass.
Advantex® ME1975, a new glass fiber multi-end roving, is designed for use in SMC Class A applications in automotive and transportation markets.
The global market for automotive body panels that includes passenger vehicles and heavy trucks is about 60KT. While the benefits of using composites to reduce weight are well-known, it has been difficult in the past for composites to provide good surface quality in large vertical walls. With increasing competition between auto makers, standards for Class A surface finish are becoming more stringent.
ME1975 is designed with a proprietary chemistry applied on Advantex® glass fibers and a fiber configuration that allows higher paste viscosity in large surface areas and difficult contours. This creates a Class A surface appearance without rippling, enabling Tier 1 customers to replace metal in parts with long vertical walls without the significant rework and scrap that were characteristic of previous composites used in these applications.
"We believe Advantex ME1975 will enable the Class A market for composites to grow," said Dr. Sanghamitra Sircar, global product manager for rovings at Owens Corning. "Lightweighting continues to be a critical challenge, and clearing the hurdle of good surface appearance in vertical walls will help the automotive industry take advantage of the benefits of composites."
The new fiber offers outstanding process-ability, such as easy unwinding and chopping, flat lay-down and uniform dispersion with no static. It also provides excellent wet-through and impregnation in a relatively dense sheet.
Advantex® ME1510 is designed to provide optimal wetting performance with glass content as high as 60 percent in epoxy-based SMC applications, resulting in lighter and stronger products that can replace traditional metal in structural applications in the automotive and industrial markets.
"The need to reduce CO2 emissions of automobiles forces the automotive value chain, and the materials industry, to think differently and provide new types of solutions," said Hans Van der Steen, business development leader, structural composites. "The composites industry is well-positioned to deliver innovative solutions that will reduce weight, allow for function integration and improve sustainability."
The benefits of Advantex® ME1510 include improved mechanical properties compared to standard (polyester) SMC, and significant weight reduction compared to steel applications. It also offers excellent process-ability while compounding, and superior strength and flexural modulus compared to other glass fiber reinforcements in epoxy SMC.
"Both of these products use Advantex® glass technology, which can be manufactured with lower emissions compared to other glass types," Sircar added. "Glass reinforced polymers can have a better carbon footprint than steel in the production and use phase for automotive applications such as body parts."
Owens Corning is exhibiting at CAMX 2014 in Orlando this week, at the Orange CountyConvention Center, West Building. Owens Corning is in booth #2273 in the exhibit hall.
About Owens Corning
Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) is a leading global producer of residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems. A Fortune® 500 company for 60 consecutive years and in business for more than 75 years, Owens Corning is a market-leading innovator of glass-fiber technology with sales of$5.3 billion in 2013 and about 15,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at: www.owenscorning.com.