brought its new composite bed Silverado to the SEMA show.
The innovative, new 6.5-ft. fleetside box will be available
as an option on the Silverado beginning in the autumn of 2000.
Chevrolet will be the first manufacturer to offer a composite
box on full-size pickup trucks.
fenders and outer tailgate panel are made of reinforced reaction
injection molded (RRIM) materials, chiefly polyurea with mica
filler. The one-piece inner panel and the inside of the tailgate
are formed by a structural reaction injection molding (SRIM)
process and consist of a 50/50 mix of urethane and glass fiber.
The interior of the box and tailgate are painted with a dark
gray "spatter paint" that provides a tough, pebbly surface
as well as protection from ultraviolet rays.
of composite materials reduces the total weight of the truck
by approximately 50 lbs., which improves fuel economy and
payload carrying capability. The tailgate alone is 15 lbs.
lighter than a current steel tailgate.
panels not only withstand denting, but also are twice as damage
resistant as composite panels used on cars such as the Chevrolet
Corvette and Camaro. If a fender is damaged, it can be removed
in less than 10 minutes, repaired in a matter of hours --
rather than days -- and re-installed with a minimum of downtime.
Most scratches on the inside of the box or tailgate can be
polished out with a common commercial silicone cleanser.