Today’s composites are based on science. They are technologically advanced chemical formulations offering a number of significant advantages over steel and aluminum. Let’s let the facts speak for themselves.
Reduced tooling costs – Tooling costs for composites can be as much as 50 to 70% less than those for stamping steel or aluminum. Depending on volume, total program costs can also be significantly reduced.
Parts consolidation – A single piece made of composite materials can replace an entire assembly of metal parts. Reduced complexity in a panel or structure saves assembly time, and cuts down needed maintenance over the life of the item.
High Impact Strength
No more dents and dings – Class A composite body panels are not prone to dents and dings from other vehicles, or environmental factors like hail the way that metal panels are. Aluminum or steel dent easily; composites do not. And if broken, a composite part is easier to repair or replace than a metal part.
No need for a pickup box liner – A pickup truck box made from composites, including our new low‐density Structural Ultra Lite™ material will never dent, ding or rust, like any metal box will. And there is never a need to add a truck bed liner.
Lightweight yet Strong
Significant weight savings – Parts made from our TCA Ultra Lite® advanced composite can be as light as aluminum, and as much as a 40 percent lighter than a steel part, while offering all of the benefits that come with working with a composite versus a metal.
High strength‐to‐weight ratio – Composites offer a very high strength‐to‐weight ratio, and can be designed to be far stronger than aluminum or steel. Metals are equally strong in all directions. But composites can be engineered and designed to be strong in a specific direction. Composites can be strong without being heavy.
Superior Design Flexibility
Complex design capability – Composites can achieve design cues that are impossible with most metals, because they are able to flow over the molds and into deep pockets, curves and other complex shapes that can’t be stamped into metal. This gives vehicle designers the freedom to create almost any shape or form they can imagine.
Restyling – A quick design refresh is much easier to perform on a current platform or platform update because of the lower tooling costs associated with composites.
Weather and chemical resistant – Composites resist damage from environmental factors and harsh chemicals such as road salt that can eat away at other materials, causing rust.
Reduced repair costs – A damaged composite body panel is far less expensive to replace or repair than a metal part – as much as 4 times less expensive. And, most composite parts are bolt on, rather than timely, complex repair or replacement process associated with an aluminum or steel part.