Custom Molded Agricultural Hood

For the agricultural industry

In support of an agricultural equipment manufacturer’s “lightweighting” efforts, Ashley Industrial Molding produced the tractor hood assembly shown here, which featured overall finished dimensions of 2,692 mm in length, 965 mm in width, and 165 mm in height. Utilizing sheet molding compound, a reinforced composite with favorable strength properties, we engineered a compression molding process that applied the right amount of material, heat, and force to attain the desired geometry. Additional operations consisted of routing to smooth the edges and hardware installation. Close monitoring of process controls enabled us to manufacture the components to within ± 0.25 mm tolerances and with a Class A surface finish.

This tractor hood exhibits the lightweight strength and durability to perform long-term in an off-road environment while maintaining its appearance. The high-quality construction enabled the customer to meet both their cost and weight reduction goals. If you would like to learn more about this project, or how lightweight molded polymer components can help your products meet an elevated performance standard, contact us today.

The high temperatures associated with the exhaust after treatment panel and the limitations of urethane paint on SMC panels drove the need for out of the box thinking and approach the program in an atypical manner.  Urethane paints have an extended exposure temperature of 200°F; whereas, the high temperature resistance of E-205 SMC material can withstand extended exposure temperatures up to 340°F with close to zero color change.  This molded in color (pigmented) SMC material also offers a reduction in cost over painted panels.

While the polyester resin system found in E-205 has one of the highest Relative Thermal Index’s in the industry, the temperature requirements for the exhaust after treatment panels were right on the edge of polyester limitations. To prove out the material for the application, a custom cyclic heat test fixture was developed to replicate the conditions that the material would observe in the field.  Temperature profiles and heat cycles were all provided by customer engineering groups and integrated into the custom test fixture.  Both color and mechanical property retention were recorded and found to be acceptable in the worst case scenario’s for the panel’s exposure requirements.  In addition to heat testing, accelerated weathering testing further proved out the material for the application.  Accelerated weathering testing indicated virtually zero color fade or property degradation after 4,500 hours.

While the exhaust after treatment program focused on a high temperature application; AIM specialized in the design, development, and production of pigmented materials for any application.  For any questions regarding cosmetic pigmented materials, please inquire with our Advance Engineering or Sales team!

Project Specifications

Custom molded hood for the agricultural industry

Product Name:

CNH B10/B19 Hood Assembly designed with inner reinforcement

Product Description:

SMC Tractor Hood Assembly

Capabilities Applied:


  • Compression Molding


  • Routing and hardware installation

Equipment Used:

Press, Stud and rout fixtures
Rivet nut installation tools

Overall Part Dimensions:

Length: 2692 mm
Width: 965 mm
Height: 165 mm

Tightest Tolerances:

± 0.25 mm

Material Used:

Sheet Molding Compound (SMC)

In process testing/inspection performed:

Thickness Check Inspection



Standards Met:

Designed without reinforcement (weight reduction)

Interested? Why not become our next project?