General Motors have been named the winner in the Performance & Customisation (Aftermarket) category of the Society of Plastics Engineers’ 42nd-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. GM’s winning application is the carbon composite air extractor located on the hood of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 sports car.
This unique carbon fibre prepreg composite part pulls air through the lower grille and out through the hood, cooling the engine, increasing efficiency and reducing lift in the process. The part also includes a water deflector moulded from SABIC’s resin, which delivered the high mechanical and thermal performance needed.
The Camaro ZL1 air extractor is engineered from carbon-fibre composites to achieve the highest stiffness and strength achievable with the lowest mass.
The air extractor makes extensive use of adhesive bonding to join two additional components to the one-piece design. Those two components are a polyamide vent screen and the water deflector moulded from SABIC’s Valox resin, a thermoplastic polyester. The adhesive bonding also isolates the carbon composite panel from the rest of the aluminum hood, preventing galvanic corrosion.
Since 2009, nine automotive plastic innovations moulded from SABIC materials have been selected as SPE Automotive Innovation Award winners. An additional 11 applications with SABIC materials have been honored as finalists over this same time period.
V. Umamaheswaran (UV), director of marketing, Automotive, Innovative Plastics
Automakers today have higher demands, especially in the ever-evolving under-hood space. The award-winning air extractor, with integrated water deflector, allowed GM to achieve high performance and high temperature resistance, all with the desired styling, which is not possible with a one-piece carbon fiber solution due to design limitations. SABIC’s contribution to this part speaks to its ability to respond with the unique thermoplastic solutions that the industry needs. We look forward to continued collaboration with our customers to help them meet the increasingly complex application challenges that lie ahead.