A polyester‐based sheet molding compound (SMC) that realizes a Class A surface and incorporates glass beads for further weight reduction has delivered a 20-lb. (9-kg) weight saving to the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe model. This represents the first production use of TCA Ultra Lite from Continental Structural Plastics (CSP, Auburn Hills, MI).
TCA was formulated to eliminate the occurrence of paint pop defects in automotive OEM paint lines while improving the overall surface quality of the part. This goal was accomplished via the development of a new polyester resin chemistry that makes the SMC substrate tougher by resisting cracking between filler and glass fiber components. This patented technology has been extremely successful and has reduced paint‐related defects by up to 98 percent throughout the manufacture of Class A body panels at multiple OEMs.