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Special edition Z06 Corvettes to get carbon fiber hood

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Special edition '04 Z06 Corvettes to get carbon-fiber hood

By RHODA MIEL | Plastics News

DETROIT -- The Chevrolet Corvette, a pioneer in the use of fiberglass for automobiles, will add the use of lightweight carbon fiber to its technology manifest for the 2004 model year.

The Corvette Z06 Commemorative Edition will carry a 20.5-pound hood that uses carbon fiber for both the painted surface and its structural substrates.

Using carbon fiber cuts nearly 11 pounds compared with the weight of the fiberglass hood.

Another important aspect of the hood is that carbon fiber is used for the smooth exterior surface, known in the industry as a Class A finish. Most applications of carbon fiber in autos leave the weave pattern of the fibers visible.

As many as 3,000 units will be produced for the model year.

"This application of carbon fiber is a major innovation, marking a significant milestone in performance and value for the industry," says Dave Hill, Corvette vehicle line executive and chief engineer.

It also follows a trend to take the composite from racetracks to high-end European roadsters and into more mainstream vehicles.

"There is a lot of interest out there," says Nancy Pottish, composites production line manager for MacLean Quality Composites LLC of West Jordan, Utah.

MacLean is overseeing production of the hood for its sister company, MacLean Vehicle Systems.

"Nobody has wanted to be the first to really bring it out, but now that GM has made that move, we expect there will be others," Pottish says.

MacLean Vehicle Systems and MacLean Quality Composites are part of MacLean-Fogg Co. of Chicago.

Carbon fiber made it into structural components for the Dodge Viper sports car last year, using a specially developed version of sheet-molded compound.

The carbon-fiber sheet-molded compound, provided by Meridian Automotive Systems to MacLean, also goes into the structural underpinning of the hood, Pottish says. It is the first North American vehicle using the composite for a Class A surface.

Bringing the material up to automotive production standards took years of work by MacLean, which also produces components for sporting goods and recreational equipment, Pottish says.

The exterior skin cannot have any flaws, such as pinholes or abrasions, as the gloss paint applied at the Corvette's Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant will point out any manufacturing defects.

Pottish says: "These requirements are so much higher than anything we've ever done."

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Originally posted by joeg

thats cool... but uhh... its not really an upgrade... that thing is made entirely out of fiberglass/aluminum already...

they usually disintegrate in collisions

one accident i saw there were parts scattered all over the place :eek:

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Originally posted by johnnyrevs1

they usually disintegrate in collisions

one accident i saw there were parts scattered all over the place :eek:

collisions + sports cars = massive dollar damage...

i swear to god my (R.I.P.) eclipse could be totalled with a shopping cart... but it could get hit by a mack truck and the passenger wouldn't even be scratched....

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Originally posted by johnnyrevs1

they usually disintegrate in collisions

one accident i saw there were parts scattered all over the place :eek:

Even better is seeing a car that's already been Bondo'd get into another fender bender.....................it's quite an amusing explosion of Bondo dust.

:laugh:

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