Friday, January 30, 2015

New Autoart Composite Model

AUTOart is excited to announce the introduction of a new concept
for the production of fine-scale model cars. Our latest innovation
is composite models, or exquisitely crafted replicas made from a
hybrid of different materials that have been selected and engineered
to produce both the supreme finish detail and high value our collectors
demand. Model making will never be the same.

In our composite models, we pair a die-cast interior with a newly
developed injection Acrylonitrile utadiene styrene (ABS), a 
thermoplastic polymer with special blend of different materials 
for reinforcement of the body, utilizing the benefits of both materials 
to create the highest quality models our company has ever produced.

Injection ABS composite material has shown itself to be an ideal 
material to form the body of a model car. Compared to our old body 
material, die-cast zinc, injected-ABS composite material surfaces, 
with correct formulation, are smoother and the bodylines and creases 
are sharper. The openings for vents and holes are also reproduced more
cleanly, and the panels can be much thinner when rendered in ABS
composite material than in zinc alloy. That makes the finished body
closer to the true scale gauge of real car bodies, which today are made
of a mix of thin sheet metal and different kinds of plastic moldings. 

AUTOart’s move to a composite model comes as injection- ABS 
composite parts become more widely used in the production of 
modern full-scale automobiles.  Fenders, tailgates, bumpers, and 
body panels are now routinely made of ABS with different 
composition, and are just as durable if not more so than their 
metal counterparts in terms of esthetic and structural rigidity. 
Plus, ABS components will never corrode. Even the chrome-plated 
trim pieces we see on modern car interiors, including door handles
that are pulled constantly, are made of ABS in way as to simulate 
metal parts.  Composite bodies and structures are also becoming the 
norm in modern supercar manufacturing, and there, the structural 
rigidity is even better than that of sheet metal.

At the same time, we know that a model’s heft is important to 
collectors, and the average weight of our composite models with
their die-cast interiors is not much less to the weight of a zinc 
alloy die-cast body model car. In other words, the composite 
model feels as good to the hands as our metal ones.

Though some model makers have turned to resin to replace 
die-cast metal for the body, we feel that ABS, with correct b
lending of reinforcement materials, has too many benefits over 
resin, especially in the reproduction of fine details.  Resin and 
ABS are both a by-product of crude oil, but resin models can be 
fragile, breaking or deforming easily when they are not handled 
with care. That’s because resin doesn’t flex like ABS, nor is it as 
rigid as a die-cast body. Because of these weaknesses, resin models
are mostly made as sealed bodies with no openings. Some recent 
resin models with opening doors and bonnets demanded a very high
price, because the producer had to make some parts of the body, 
including the doors and bonnets, in ABS rather than resin. That’s 
because resin is brittle and breaks easily, and it is not possible to 
install the small hinges that movable panels require without risking 
a failure of the resin after just a few openings and closings. 

We also discovered in substituting ABS composite for die-cast 
zinc that the common quality issue of air bubbles, or so called 
“rashes” or “zinc-pest”, on the paint surface of a die-cast metal 
body caused by trapped air during the casting process, is rarely 
a problem. ABS doesn’t trap hot gasses as easily as zinc during
 the injection process, and that cuts the defect and scrap rate of 
painted bodies.

Our composite models differ from the usual low-cost plastic and
resin model cars seen on the market, which have sealed bodies 
and no openings or excessive detail. AUTOart’s composite models
 are not sealed, but have full array of working closure panels, 
including doors on all models and engine bonnets on many subjects. 

Replicating opening doors and bonnets on a composite model has 
been a challenge for AUTOart’s engineers, because a body made 
of ABS, despite blended with reinforced material, is generally not 
rigid enough. It tends to flex and deform under twisting or compression. 
If such a model is made featuring opening doors, the doors will pop 
loose  under flexing and they will not close properly once the body is
slightly deformed. This is the reason why low-cost plastic model 
cars are traditionally made without opening doors and bonnets.


In order to make the whole composite body rigid enough, we pair 
it with a die cast interior that is designed to support the body in all 
the areas that need to be strengthened. With a metal interior, the 
whole composite body becomes rigid, which is no different than the
concept behind a die-cast metal body and even many real cars. The 
reinforced composite body will not flex easily and will never deform, 
and doors and bonnets will always open and close in the same position. 
Also, as a bonus, the finished model’s door gaps are finer when rendered in composite material than in die-cast zinc.  

The concept of an internal structure is very much inspired by 
modern supercars, in which a very rigid carbon fiber tub supports
all the external lightweight bodywork. Other than the rigidity 
issue with ABS composite, which AUTOart has overcome with 
its mix of materials, a composite body is better in almost every 
aspect when making a model car body.

When the composite model is finished and compared to older 
die-cast zinc replicas, most collectors cannot tell that the body is
made of composite material unless they look closely at the 
body lines and creases, which are even sharper and just as 
focused as those on resin models that sell for much higher prices.  

AUTOart’s unique design for its next generation of model cars, 
which combines the benefits of composite bodies with die-cast 
zinc interiors, is patent pending.

Big thank you goes out to the AA team for this info.


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