Detroit — Composites specialist Continental Structural Plastics Holding Corp. won an Automotive News Pace Award for its TCA Ultra Lite composite material, which is currently in production on the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette.
The annual awards, in their 23rd year, are given for innovative technologies that have reached commercialization. This year's winners include suppliers of lighter-weight electronic brakes, advanced transmission parts, gear-cutting machinery, cockpit sensors and components to support vehicle electrification.
Pace stands for Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence.
The use of TCA Ultra Lite, a Class A body panel material, results in a 20 pound weight savings on the Stingray Coupe model. This is the first production use of CSP's Ultra Lite advanced composite.
The weight savings is accomplished through CSP-patented technology that uses treated glass bubbles to replace some calcium carbonate filler. On the C7, a total of 21 body panel assemblies, including doors, decklids, quarter panels and fenders, are molded from TCA Ultra Lite.
“When it comes to engineering a vehicle, every single pound saved is an accomplishment. In the case of the C7, we were able to shave 20 pounds off of the car, using a material so advanced, no one else can offer it,” said Steve Rooney, CEO of Continental Structural Plastics. “This prestigious award validates the uniqueness of our technology, and motivates us to continue innovating as we work toward introducing an even lighter Class A material to the market.”
The Pace Awards were presented April 3 in Detroit. CSP is based in Auburn Hills, Mich., and is owned by Teijin Group.