DETROIT – The Chevrolet Corvette was not the first car with a fiberglass body. But after 50 years and with production exceeding 1.3 million units, it remains an icon in the world of materials innovations. The 2004 Corvette Commemorative Edition Z06 once again breaks new ground with a carbon-fiber hood that weighs only 20.5 lbs. (9 kg), a third less than the standard hood made from sheet molding composite (SMC). The inner hood is a composite of SMC and carbon fiber. Although some panels ...

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