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SOURCE International Automotive Components
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- International Automotive Components (IAC) received the 2013 TPO Innovation Award for its innovative SmartFoil™ solution on the 2014 Corvette Stingray. The award was presented during today's Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference in Troy, Mich. The leather-like material makes its market debut on the lower door panels on one of 2014's most highly anticipated and popular new vehicles, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
"Receiving SPE's TPO Innovation Award is a true testament to the innovation and ingenuity portrayed by our entire IAC team as we create innovative solutions for our customers," said Maurice Sessel, senior vice president of engineering at IAC. "This recognition, coupled with the fact that the technology is making its application debut on the 2014 Corvette Stingray, represents our ongoing efforts to challenge the norm and develop new materials. We are striking a balance between improved interior durability, while maintaining a luxurious look and feel that virtually all vehicles strive to offer."
SmartFoil is a TPO (thermoplastic olefin) material that provides improved craftsmanship and luxury, while providing up to a 10 percent weight savings over traditional solutions. SmartFoil's leather-like durable top coat improves scratch, scuff and mar resistance, and is designed specifically for vehicles with low entry/exit points like the Corvette. SmartFoil's A-surface material has an excellent grain definition and a vacuum-form feel at a similar cost to soft-touch paint.
Furthermore, the eco-friendly material eliminates the traditional adhesive process, as the sheet is bonded to the resin during a one step molding process. While reducing assembly time and cost, this process produces an appealing and durable finished component with in-mold grain, adding luxury to the Corvette's sporty interior.
SmartFoil is an ideal solution for most other injection molded parts, including consoles and instrument panel components. Advanced material applications being considered at IAC for SmartFoil include using it with natural fiber compression molding and other proprietary hybrid molding techniques for future applications.
The SmartFoil application also is nominated for the Interior category award at the 2013 Automotive Plastic Innovation Awards, to be held in November, as well as the 2014 Society of Plastics Engineers Annual Technical Conference at Las Vegas.
About the SPE Conference and Awards Program
The 15th annual SPE Automotive TPO Engineered Polyolefins Global Conference has become the world's leading automotive polyolefins forum, highlighting the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins (TPOs) as well as a growing range of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) throughout the automobile and in other forms of ground transportation.
The TPO Innovation Award is based on criteria including weight, cost and environmental benefits as well as design and development innovation.
IAC Group is a leading global supplier of automotive components and systems, including interior and exterior trim. The company's 2012 sales were $4.7 billion. Headquartered in Luxembourg, IAC Group operates 80 manufacturing facilities in 18 countries. The company has approximately 90 total locations in 20 countries, including 22 design, technical and commercial centers, and employs more than 27,000 people globally. For more information, visit www.iacgroup.com.
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