General Motor's Corp. develops a new lightweight composite material called Sheet Molded Composite SMC 3374. It is a plastic polymer stiff enough to be used as a stand-alone structural part and also has the ability to withstand engine compartment heat. SMC 3374 starts out as a dough-like material called resin paste, which is rolled out into a thin, continuous sheet. Inch-long glass fibers are sprinkled across the sheet and a cover sheet of polythylene, or nylon plastic, with more resin ...

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