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The increasing usage of sheet molding compound (SMC) materials in the automotive industry for weight reduction motivated this study on the effect of processing on SMC properties. The processing variables investigated were cure time, mold temperature, and mold pressure. A total of 15 different molding conditions were used to produce flat SMC panels from a laboratory mold. Tensile, flexural, and impact properties and heat deflection temperatures of these sample panels were measured. It was found that while the processing variables studied have little effect on the mechanical properties, they have a more severe effect on the thermal property.
sheet molding compound, processing variables, mechanical properties, thermal properties, tensile strength, tensile modulus, percent elongation, flexural strength, flexural modulus, impact strength, heat deflection temperature, cure time, cure temperature, cure pressure, compression molding, automotive materials, formulation, dynamic mechanical properties
Senior Project Engineer, General Motors Manufacturing Development, General Motors Technical Center, Warren, Mich.