NOV 2018


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NOVEMBER 2018 34 CompositesWorld FEATURE / Long-Haul Trucks Efficiency through composites Wabash MSC technology encapsulates insulating material with glass composite and gel coat layers, protecting the insulation from degradation while keeping weight low. Source | Wabash National units are on the road, reports Wabash VP of product engineering Robert Lane, and sales continue to ramp up. A full-length 53-ft Cold Chain trailer, which is currently moving into product launch phase, incorporates MSC walls and roof as well as next-genera- tion CoCure hybrid metal/composite technology, developed by Structural Composites (W. Melbourne, FL, US). is technology, which is used for the trailer's flooring, combines metal (aluminum or steel) with fiber-reinforced polymer which allows the cold air to circulate. Structural Composites' CoCure resins and adhe- sives effectively serve both as the matrix resin in the component's composite layer, and as a tenacious bonding agent with metals. Outside of van components, Wabash and Great Dane, as well as other truck and trailer OEMs, Tier 1 and aftermarket suppliers, are offering numerous aerodynamic devices that aid fuel efficiency. A mix of materials is used to make nose, roof and rear fairings, as well as side skirts. Great Dane's Lee notes that 80-90% of skirts are made from composite materials. As trailer add-ons, these devices boost a vehicle's empty weight, so the high strength-to-weight ratio of composites is important to optimizing the contribution these devices make to freight efficiency. While Wabash's most popular side skirt is constructed from its DuraPlate material, the company also offers the Aeroskirt CX, constructed from a glass-reinforced polymer. Further, the compa- ny's most recent product, the segmented (up to five panels per side) Ventix DRS (Drag Reduction System), is also made from composites. e skirt segments of Ventix DRX eliminate drag that standard skirts create by trapping air under the trailer. e segmented configuration reportedly increases fuel savings 50% more than standard trailer side skirts. Some of the newest developments in aerodynamic composite components, as well as other composites applications, are an outcome of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) SuperTruck I program. e DOE's interest in long-haul heavy-duty trucks stems H i g h T e m p e r a t u r e B o n d T o o l s • BMI • Epoxy M i l l F i x t u r e s P r e s s u r e I n t e n s i f i e r s / C a u l s B a c k u p S t r u c t u r e M a t e r i a l s • Panels, Tubes, Angles B a c k u p S t r u c t u r e K i t s C O M P O S I T E T O O L I N G 6262 W. 34th Street South ● Wichita, KS 67215 Phone: 316-946-5900 ● Email: High Performance Polyamide Visit Performance Polyamide

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