DETROIT — Show-goers at SAE '98 took their best shots at the body panels for the Chrysler Composite Concept Vehicle, displayed by material supplier Ticona of Summit, N.J.
``People are walking up to it and hitting it and trying to scratch it,'' Ticona's automotive sales director, Ray Dugas, said Feb. 23 at SAE '98 in Detroit. ``It's really getting a lot of attention.''
Ticona supplied the Impet-brand PET used in the CCV's body panels, which are the largest ever molded using an engineering thermoplastic.
Chrysler unveiled the CCV at the Frankfurt, Germany, auto show in September. If it passes crash tests and a market is found in a developing country, the subcompact CCV could be in commercial production by 2000.
``The panels weigh 70 pounds, which is big from an injection molding standpoint,'' Dugas said. ``This could allow us to brainstorm into other areas such as appliances. When something like the CCV hits, it makes people think of other applications.''
Cascade Engineering Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., did the molding after Ticona developed the PET with ultraviolet light-stabilized color. Impet PET was developed to be tougher and more durable than conventional PET, most of which is used in beverage and food packaging. The CCV uses a 15 percent glass-filled grade made in Shelby, N.C.
At SAE, Ticona also unveiled Impet Hi, an Impet variation also aimed mainly at large molded parts for autos and appliances.
Dugas described Impet as ``timely technology'' in context of the firm's spinoff from Hoechst Celanese Corp. last year. Comments made by Hoechst officials indicate Ticona is one of several plastics-related businesses on the selling block.
Other Ticona products at SAE '98 included:
Topas cyclic olefin copolymers, which officials claim offer a clear, lightweight alternative to glass. Topas is half as dense as glass, 3 percent lighter than polystyrene and 15 percent lighter than polycarbonate and acrylic.
Vandar thermoplastic polyester alloy air-bag covers designed for excellent paint adhesion in color-matched interiors.
Fuel pumps, filler caps and other fuel system components made of Ticona's linear polyphenylene sulfide, acetal copolymer and nylon 6/6 products, designed to withstand a broad range of automotive fuels.