In this paper, minimum-weight design of double-layer panels made from sheet molding compound is related to cure time—a critical indicator of manufacturing cost. This is done by incorporating cure time restrictions in the optimization analysis. Depending on the design constraints imposed on the panel, the least-weight design can require cure times which are unacceptably long for economical high volume production. Nevertheless, we show that cure time can be brought within acceptable bounds by design changes that incur only modest increases in weight.

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