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Corvette Today Interviews Harlan Charles Re The C8 & More: ON NOW

What a wonderful Corvette Today podcast!!! Steve Garrett sits down with Corvette Product Manager, Harlan Charles on this episode of CORVETTE TODAY.  https://anchor.fm/steve-garrett/epis...enea/a-a2qtt60. Harlan talks about his early years with Chevrolet and how he became Product Manager for Corvette. He also discusses the cohesive work done by the entire Corvette team-from C5 through C8.  You'll learn about the evolution of the new mid-engine C8 Corvette and the steps taken to bring it to market. Plus, Harlan delves into the launch of the C8, the development of the strategy behind the mid-engine car.
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C8 Corvette Light-Weighting

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  • C8 Corvette Light-Weighting

    Corvette strength with lightest possible weight is always a subject of interest to us. Thanks to JerryU, who is not just smart but knows what us Corvette nuts are interesting in; thanks Jerry for the following information and pictures.

    First if I might, my favorite video on this subject:




    Originally posted by JerryU
    Corvettes have been composite since their June 1953 debut. The idea was developed by Robert Morrison in his company Molded Fiber Glass in Ashtabula OH.

    Having managed and R&D Lab in Ashtabula, this article caught my attention. We had a Technician who worked for MFG building the first Corvette and prototypes through 1957, as I recall.

    The removable lower-tunnel structural closeout on the C8, which acts as an access door, contributes more than 10% of the vehicle’s torsional rigidity and acts as a primary load path during a crash. This hybrid-composite panel consists of three layers of glass fiber preform. These consist of continuous/woven and chopped/random fibers at 38% fiber volume fraction (FVF), with veils added to top and bottom face layers on each stack for improved surface finish. Glass preforms are interleaved with two layers of preforms made using Toray (Tokyo, Japan) T700 12K standard-modulus carbon fiber in the form of NCF biaxial fabric at 21% FVF and a vinyl ester (VE) matrix. The closeout is produced by Molded Fiber Glass Co. (MFG, Ashtabula, Ohio, U.S.) using its proprietary PRiME (Prepositioned Reinforcement ensuring Manufacturing Excellence) process, a type of liquid compression molding (LCM).

    Click image for larger version  Name:	98654FF8-F9A5-40F2-A753-D72DA64C7DF3.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	147.4 KB ID:	173396

    The low-density but structural SMC panels feature new formulations (in this case, 40% FVF chopped fiberglass/unsaturated polyester (UP) resin) developed by MFG. The material is called “float” SMC because each panel’s density is less than 1.0 (average SG=0.97) and thus can float in water. MFG produced all structural SMC and LCM’d parts on the car.

    An important contributor to vehicle lightweighting on the C8 is the extensive use of “float” SMC. With specific gravity values less than 1.0, this low-density but structural SMC developed by MFG is used in a variety of non-Class A parts, including underbody panels, the dash panel, air-induction ductwork and the front trunk. Source | Molded Fiber Glass Co
    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    Thanks John for posting...love this stuff!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JB
      So does this mean our corvettes can float? Does this mean we dont need to buy a boat?
      Well, historically, Corvettes are boats - just sayin'.

      Even though the C8 is physically bigger and heavier (almost 200 lbs) than the C7, it feels like a smaller and lighter car when driving it.

      Clearly the GM engineers got their hands on some of that Alien technology from Area 51...
      .
      .
      Click image for larger version

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      My C8:
      '20 Elkhart Lake Blue 2LT Coupe, Natural Interior, GT2 Two-Tone Seats, Performance Exhaust, Front Lift, Carbon Flash Wheels, Engine Appearance Package 2000 Status December 27, 2019; 3000 Status January 2, 2020; 3400 Status March 10, 2020;TPW March 16, 2020; Built June 4th, 2020; Delivery July 1, 2020

      Current Vettes:
      '68 Lemans Blue 327/350 Convertible
      '91 Turquoise Convertible with Hardtop
      '14 Lime Rock Green 2LT Convertible, Black Top, Kalahari, 7-Speed, Performance Exhaust

      Comment


      • #4
        Designing cars today is just a wee bit different than designing the C1, ain't it?!
        SunKissed, my 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible (One of about 40)

        Purchased 5/2/2015,
        >36,000 miles

        Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club. Check us out http://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org

        Never grow up - It's a trap.

        Comment


        • #5
          “Just add lightness!” Colin Chapman
          GD0 Accelerate Yellow Metallic; 3LT; HUE Natural Napa Leather; AE4 Competition Sport Seats; FA5 CF Interior Trim; Z51; FE4 Mag Ride Suspension; E60 Front Lift; Q8Q CF Open Spoke Wheels; J6F BR Brembo Calipers; RCC ER Intake Cover; DTH CF Racing Stripes; ZZ3 Engine App Package; VQK Splash Guards; ERI Battery Protection; R8C Museum Delivery

          Proud LTM NCM.

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          • #6
            light weight " MFG - Hybrid - composite lower tunnel closeout panel"... but its held on with probably 10 LBS of bolts. lol

            If you ever look at the bottom of the C8 there are a ton of fasteners holding all the panels in place ... at some point Im going to figure out what sizes and specs all those bolts and fasteners are and replace them with Titanium ( yes I know its expensive) now that's adding lightness ! ( and to my wallet also) lol

            Comment


            • #7
              I would be very interested in learning what your research finds, including the source you find and the cost.
              GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by C808 View Post
                light weight " MFG - Hybrid - composite lower tunnel closeout panel"... but its held on with probably 10 LBS of bolts. lol

                If you ever look at the bottom of the C8 there are a ton of fasteners holding all the panels in place ... at some point Im going to figure out what sizes and specs all those bolts and fasteners are and replace them with Titanium ( yes I know its expensive) now that's adding lightness ! ( and to my wallet also) lol
                I was wondering about all of the bolts. I was wondering why the panels didn't lock in place with tabbed ends and only a couple bolts to hold them in place.
                It might have something to do with the battery going into the tunnel for future model and not being able to pierce it from underneath and also adding to rigidity .
                Last edited by Frenzy36; 08-01-2020, 01:37 AM.
                Rocket City Florida

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great video and article- Thanks John. It's amazing after being on the forum for a couple of years that we are constantly learning something new.
                  Rocket City Florida

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is amazing what technology can do but with out imagination not so much. As for all the bolts holding the panel I would think it adds to the rigidity and strength of the panel. Just a WAG on my part.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Years ago, I saw a sticker on a really nice and powerful sand rail out at Glamis... it said ELS, when you looked closer, in small letters, it said Expensive Lightweight Sh!t 😂 Our C8's are full of it!!
                      2021 2LT HTC, front lift, MRCS, GT2 natural seats, Perf. exh and all wrapped in Zeus Bronze riding on aftermarket wheels 😎

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Frenzy36 View Post

                        I was wondering about all of the bolts. I was wondering why the panels didn't lock in place with tabbed ends and only a couple bolts to hold them in place.
                        It might have something to do with the battery going into the tunnel for future model and not being able to pierce it from underneath and also adding to rigidity .
                        Bolting the panel in place adds rigidity to the entire central tunnel. Having only a couple of bolts would allow lots of movement between the tunnel and the bottom plate.

                        What I wonder about is why GM didn't design all the floor panel bolts to fit flush, for less disturbance of air flow. But maybe the impact is negligible.
                        SunKissed, my 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible (One of about 40)

                        Purchased 5/2/2015,
                        >36,000 miles

                        Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club. Check us out http://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org

                        Never grow up - It's a trap.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by C808 View Post
                          light weight " MFG - Hybrid - composite lower tunnel closeout panel"... but its held on with probably 10 LBS of bolts. lol

                          If you ever look at the bottom of the C8 there are a ton of fasteners holding all the panels in place ... at some point Im going to figure out what sizes and specs all those bolts and fasteners are and replace them with Titanium ( yes I know its expensive) now that's adding lightness ! ( and to my wallet also) lol
                          There maybe an issue with the expansion rates of the different materials and some potential of corrosion. Needless to say, correct torquing and fastener stability needs to be considered. All that said, it would be nice to have a way to add lightness that might be a bit expensive but very doable. Please post your results. Thanks.
                          Last edited by KodiakBr; 08-01-2020, 02:52 PM. Reason: Missed a word

                          Comment

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