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Some of our newer members may not be aware of the technology behind the great looking hood and trunk lid. Here is some history for you.

More at this site.
2006 Pontiac Solstice Sheetmetal Hydroforming Technology



SOLSTICE SHEET METAL HYDROFORMING TECHNOLGOY

Almost all the curvaceous body panels on the Solstice are produced via sheet metal hydroforming – a first for a production vehicle. A relatively new process which uses water pressure to help form the desired panel shapes, sheet metal hydroforming is used to create the Solstice’s unique clamshell hood, outer door panels, rear deck lid and quarter panels.

Sheet metal hydroforming of exterior body panels has seen limited use in other markets around the world, but predominantly for small runs of specialty aftermarket panels. Solstice’s body panels represent the first exterior application of the technology, which enables the transfer of original concept vehicle design without compromises, in a mass-produced automobile.

More precise than conventional body panel stamping, sheet metal hydroforming (also known as hydromechanical deep drawing) allows the much deeper draw – or depth of the component – necessary for creating panels with complex curves. The process allows the body curves of the original Solstice concept to be reproduced on a mass production scale. Many of the Solstice body panels, in fact, such as the unique clamshell hood and its compound curves, could not have been formed by conventional stamping methods. The only conventionally stamped portion of the Solstice exterior is a small, almost flat panel between the front wheel well and door edge.

Although more time-consuming than conventional draw stamping, sheet metal hydroforming offers reduced tooling costs, as only a single “positive” die is required for each panel. In the conventional stamping process, both “positive” and “negative” dies are required to form a single panel. The sheet metal hydroforming process uses hydraulic counterpressure to press a blank panel onto the die. Counterpressure builds as the die presses the blank downward into the water tank. The compressed water forces the blank onto the die, forming the shape of the panel.

Because pressure is spread more evenly onto the blank, sheet metal hydroforming offers the additional advantages of excellent finish quality, uniform panel thickness and precise dimensional accuracy when compared with conventional draw stamping. More uniform panel thickness improves the chances for successful forming, particularly when creating complex shapes, such as the Solstice’s clamshell hood.

Achievement of the Solstice’s curvaceous contours was aided by hydroforming in other ways. The strength of the lower-dominant foundation of the vehicle’s hydroformed chassis freed engineers from having to use body panels as structural members, thus eliminating restrictions to applying the concept vehicle design to the production model.
 

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On coupes the roof is magnesium framed (and IIRC SMC in the panel?) and the rear body around the hatch is non-ferrous - not sure exactly what it is.
 

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On coupes the roof is magnesium framed (and IIRC SMC in the panel?) and the rear body around the hatch is non-ferrous - not sure exactly what it is.
My understanding is that the rear body on the coupe is formed from SMC (Sheet Molding Compound). Your information on the top panel is new to me. I had always assumed that the entire top panel was made of magnesium.

Time to do some homework . . . :willy:

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EDIT: Homework completed, hat tip to wspohn, and I learned something new (to me):

According to J. D. Powers:

http://autos.jdpower.com/content/new-car-preview/DuEQqeC/2009-pontiac-solstice-coupe-preview.htm

The 2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe and Solstice GXP Coupe will be produced in addition to the current Solstice roadster model. Only minimal structural changes were made from the convertible to accommodate the coupe design, GM says. These include a new roof, strengthened with additional support elements, like an aluminum roof bow attached with aluminum brackets; lightweight sheet molding compound cover secured to a rigid aluminum frame; lightweight magnesium roof panel frame weighing 31 pounds and easily removed by one person; and a cover made of sheet molding compound. New taillight assemblies contribute to a smoother flowing look into the tapered roofline, the automaker says. The area behind the seats was also redesigned for easy access to the new, flat cargo floor area. The cargo area features covered bins for secure storage of small items, with cargo tie-down hooks for irregularly-shaped items.
 

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I rely on the release announcements from GM for that two component construction of the roof panel. It is hard to tell as there is an inner liner, so you can't really get at the centre of the top to check it out. Anything is possible - early announcements mention aluminum rather than magnesium, which is clearly wrong.

You are probably right about the SMC rear panels - again, I couldn't find a specific reference to that.
 

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I rely on the release announcements from GM for that two component construction of the roof panel. It is hard to tell as there is an inner liner, so you can't really get at the centre of the top to check it out. Anything is possible - early announcements mention aluminum rather than magnesium, which is clearly wrong.

You are probably right about the SMC rear panels - again, I couldn't find a specific reference to that.
There are several aluminum structures supporting the SMC rear top, all mentioned in the quote from J. D. Powers in my previous message.

:dthumbs:
 

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So the coupes exterior hardtop panel and the exterior fastback is SMC, while the framework underneath them is a combination of aluminum and magnesium.

Assume the verts tulip panel is also SMC. Is the exhaust valance urethane like the fascia covers? Looks to be plastic.

I kept my original answers to the vert since that's what I was thinking the OP was asking.
 
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