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Plastic alloy

8th June 1979, Page 25
8th June 1979
Page 25
Page 25, 8th June 1979 — Plastic alloy
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THE YAK YEOMAN is the first UK commercial vehicle to be produced with body panels formed in the new superplastic alloy "Supra!". Its first use by the motor industry was in the new Aston Martin Lagonda.

The forming process is similar to that used for vacuum forming sheet thermoplastics but tooling costs are lower. Only five forming tools are used to form the bonnet moulding, four interchangeable wings, two interchangeable side panels, one front grille, one dashboard panel, two'rear quarter-lights, and the tailgate panel.

Wings and side panels are guaranteed to be interchangeable because of the accuracy of the forming process which eases the need for skilled panel beaters and makes assembly and repair much easier.

Flexibility of TI Superform's process means that features such as the logo and dashboard and grille designs can be shaped into the pressing by simple tool modification. It is this ease of tool change that makes the method flexible. Rather than expensive fabrication, one single tool is used, which may be altered to restyle the finished part.

Supra] is claimed by the manufacturers to extend up to ten times its own length at high temperature but retain all the qualities of a normal aluminium alloy after forming.


People: Martin Lagonda

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