Continental Structural Plastics’ (CSP) TCA Ultra Lite material is now in production on the ‘16 Chevrolet Corvette. According to CSP, the use of its Ultra Lite, a Class A body panel material, results in a 20-pound weight savings on the Stingray coupe. This is the first production use of CSP’s Ultra Lite advanced composite.
According to Jerry Jackson, right, an OE supplier (AMF Engineering Co.) of lightweight Glassfibre moldings to automotive and truck industries and the military in the UK in the 1970s-1980s, “1.2 sq is a very impressive achievement for body panels for a road-going production sports car.” Jackson also designed Resin Transfer Molding production machinery sold to Lotus and others worldwide. Jackson, a member of the Sarasota Café Racers just completed building his Superlite SLC, below, powered by an LS7 Corvette crate motor. Just like Colin Chapman, he too believes in “adding lightness for increased performance.”
“Through a joint continuous improvement effort, Chevrolet and CSP have significantly reduced the density of the Corvette body panels – from 1.9 specific gravity for the 2013 model year, to 1.6 specific gravity for the 2014 model year to 1.2 for the 2016 model year,” said Christopher Basela, Lead Engineer for Corvette Body Composites.
The mass savings afforded by TCA Ultra Lite is accomplished through the use of a CSP-patented technology that uses treated glass bubbles to replace some of the Calcium Carbonate filler, resulting in a lighter density material. On the C7, a total of 21 body panel assemblies, including doors, deck lids, quarter panels and fenders, are molded from TCA Ultra Lite.
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For more information about the 2016 Corvette Stingray, please visit http://www.chevycorvette.com/2016-Corvette-Stingray