Ashland recently announced it has received the Infinite Possibility Award for the Arotran 805 resin system, a weatherable and pigmented sheet molding composite (SMC), at the 2016 Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX).

The Arotran 805 resin system is designed to address the issues OEMs face in creating high-quality and durable external automotive parts, like truck beds. The 2017 Honda Ridgeline truck bed is reportedly the first high-volume automotive-exterior application of a weatherable and pigmented SMC. Weatherable SMC parts can retain gloss and color despite years of direct exposure to sun, salt, rain, and snow. The Arotran 805 resin system provides a molded-in, black color that eliminates the need for paint.

“The primary advantages of weatherable SMC for the OEM and end customers are environmental friendliness, improved dent- and scratch-resistance and exceptional value,” said Laura Gigas, transportation product manager. “We are pleased to contribute to the many innovative aspects of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline truck.”

The through-black color of the SMC allows scratches and dings not to show in heavy-duty applications. This material package is formulated using UV-stable technology, reportedly providing color stability and gloss retention even after extensive weather exposure. Parts made from the Arotran 805 resin system can maintain gloss retention with minimal color change, even after 3,500 hours of UV exposure.

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