Steel, aluminum, magnesium and other plastics please stand back: SMC automotive applications are expanding. In just two years, use of SMC in cars and trucks has grown more than 25%, form 156,000 million pounds in 1993 to a projected 200,000 million pounds in 1995.
The 1995 Lincoln Continental is a case in point. The restyled luxury sedan from Ford Motor Co. features that model's first hood and decklid fashioned from SMC.
Doors, rear-end panels, hatches, roofs and liftgates are among the most common SMC is capable of more than just looking good while gracefully taking the abuse body panels routinely endure.
Structural and non-appearance components account for close to 25% of the total number of pounds of SMC used in 1994. SMC bumpers and traditional applications like bumper beams are gaining popularity, too. And so are valve covers and radiator supports, which cut costs, reduce noise and easily handle the hostile environment under the hood.
Parts consolidation is an important way for manufacturers to cut vehicle weight, reduce assembly costs and improve recyclability. The one-piece SMC heater plenum/windshield wiper motor housing in the new Chrysler NS minivan is a light, strong replacement for several pieces made from a variety of materials.
Appearance is critical to the marketing of cars and trucks in a fiercely competitive, image-conscious market. SMC parts such as front and rear end panels, sunshades, spoilers, fender skirts and air scoops are the pieces that distinguish various models. The styling and manufacturing flexibility of SMC and comparatively low cost of retooling for model changes make it a popular choice of designers.
From low-volume specialty models to high-volume bread-and-butter vehicles. SMC provides the low tooling costs and design flexibility to quickly and economically make styling changes.