NOV 2018


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NEWS 35 Trucks, Trailers, Composites Navistar chief engineer of advanced technologies Dean Opper- mann reports that, during SuperTruck I, Navistar (Lisle, IL, US) deliberately maintained the same steel structure of its cab to avoid the major developmental work that would have been required to incorporate carbon fiber composites – dealing with new materials, new forming technologies and new joining chal- lenges. In SuperTruck II, however, Navistar and TPI are aiming for a "structure and shell that's completely composite," Oppermann continues. "To make it more produc- tion-feasible, we will focus carbon reinforcement only in places where we need the strength. We're designing it as a system." Of Daimler's SuperTruck II plans, reports Justin Yee, the company's manager of vehicle concepts in advanced engineering, as well as principal inves- tigator for its SuperTruck II work, "At this time, we are not developing new composite technologies." Great Dane, on the other hand, is "studying the possibility of new composite sandwich panel technology on some structure members," Lee reports. e joint SuperTruck II effort of TPI Composites and Navistar is using a purpose-built design approach. TPI's Altman says one route of entry into production vehicles may be created by the fact that, with composites, "We can tool up for a fraction of the cost of from the opportunity this sector presents to improve freight- hauling efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases: Commercial trucks comprise only 4% of on-road vehicles, but use 20% of fuel consumed in the US. ough programs like SuperTruck I serve as technology demon- strators, technology readiness was only a secondary focus of this initiative. In fact, TPI Composites decided not to pursue an oppor- tunity to participate on a SuperTruck I specifically because the principal investigator's approach using non- structural carbon composite exterior panels appeared to be "a one-off show vehicle with no path to production," Altman recalls. e company is concerned whether new tech- nologies can be "productized." e crite- rion, Altman says, is whether "the value the technology provides buys its way onto a production vehicle platform." Will composites go under cover? While steady market growth for non- and semi-structural compos- ites applications on trucks and trailers is expected, the larger question is whether, and when, composites will expand into structural applications. e DOE's SuperTruck II initiative, which began in 2016, gives participants an opportunity to explore struc- tural composites that could move beyond demonstrator status and into production. Composites applications in trailers are emerging and/or growing. INTERNATIONAL INC. EUROPE Sarl ASIA LTD ADVANCED MATERIALS LTD 16m wide & no seams Big Blue L-100 W-I-D-E Vacuum Bagging Films • No Seams • Cost effective • Variety of films available Video available online PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT Widest in our Industry: Ipplon ® KM1300 – up to 9m (356") Ipplon ® DP1000 – up to 9m (356") Wrightlon ® 7400 – up to 9m (356") Securlon ® L-1000 – up to 7.1m (280") Securlon ® L-500Y – up to 8m (315") Big Blue L-100 – up to 16m (630") 414ºF 212 °C 400ºF 204 °C 340ºF 171 °C 250ºF 121 °C

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