Compounder PolyOne of Cleveland, Ohio, is producing a carbon composite brace for General Motors using the pultrusion process.
It’s an interesting twist because most new carbon composite automotive applications use low pressure molding approaches.
The underbody brace is now offered as a performance upgrade for the current C7 generation of the Chevrolet Corvette sports car.
PolyOne says that the brace reduces weight and retains torsional stiffness versus aluminum versions used on production models while also increasing flexural stiffness for improved structural integrity and long-term fatigue strength.
“Our Glasforms team evaluated several composite types and identified a solution with optimal performance. The carbon fiber-reinforced composite part is 17 percent lighter than the stock aluminum part, and the composite held up well in GM’s extensive vibration, shake and road test regimen,” said Matthew Borowiec, general manager, PolyOne Advanced Composites.
The Corvette Z06 won last year’s Car and Driver Lightning Lap with the fastest speed, which also ranked as the second fastest lap time in the history of the event.