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Exterior Composites

Mass reduction for mass production

The adaptation of lighter weight automotive materials brings challenges to every step of the manufacturing process from design through production. Plastics, aluminum and carbon fiber each require special consideration that is different than the steel and sheet metal that automakers have relied upon for more than a century. Yet, significant weight reduction is possible with low-density carbon fiber composite components that can function alongside traditional metal components in an efficient hybrid construction.

Dow is the only supplier to offer high performance composite resins as well as composite bonding systems. This enables customers to achieve up to 50% weight savings and 95% parts consolidation objectives with the added benefit of improved manufacturing efficiencies.

Lightweighting

Epoxy resins for carbon fiber or glass fiber composite parts enable weight reduction, parts integration, and efficiencies in materials and processing. It is a game-changing epoxy formulation composited of resin, hardener and internal mold release, designed mainly for carbon fiber composite production using high-pressure resin transfer molding or wet compression.

The ultra-low processing viscosity of these epoxy resins enables short infusion times and excellent fiber wetting, allowing the production of outstanding final composite performance and substantial mass reduction compared to metal solutions. This low-viscosity advantage also reduces filling pressure and clamp force, without sacrificing flow length or fiber wetting even in parts with high fiber content.

Parts Consolidation

Dow’s epoxy resins are ideal for producing large composite parts with significant part consolidation potential, helping to reduce part count and therefore assembly costs. Further cost reduction is possible with the super-fast in-tool cure times, suitable for high-volume part production from a single press. Depending on process needs, the versatility of the epoxy resins allows easy adjustment of injection and cure profiles, enabling molding cycle times of 30 to 180 seconds.