The continued pursuit of adding lightness and cutting costs has led General Motors to a new material developed by Wilmington, Massachusetts company Quantum Leap Packaging. The liquid crystal polymer could be used in applications that traditionally require metal, including body panels. Plastics tend to have a larger coefficient of expansion, as anyone who's checked the door gaps on a Saturn SL1 will tell you, but this new material combines dimensional stability comparable to steel and strength on par with titanium.
Quantech, as the material is known, is similar to Kevlar and could be used for support brackets, body pieces, and even underhood parts where the weather's always warm. While resins and exotic materials are no bargain, the price of steel has been increasing too, which makes a better case for trying something new. A fast-track plan may see Quantech hitting production cars in six months, though the timeline could protract to two years if the vetting process reveals any challenges to overcome.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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