03 December 2004
03 December 2004
Owens Corning has developed an all composite CTEC panel which claims to reduce the vehicle weight by as much as 20% compared to standard industry alternatives.
The CTEC panel was unveiled at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Associations’ National RV Show in Louisville earlier this week, offering RV manufacturers an exterior panel that is 20 percent lighter than traditional materials and with improved durability.
The reduction in weight allows cargo capacity to be increased and affords design engineers with opportunities to differentiate vehicles by incorporating more features and amenities.
Key to its performance advantages, the patent-pending CTEC panel is comprised of layers of Owens Corning fibreglass reinforcements and polyester resins rather than traditional metals or composite-wood laminates. Unlike traditional wood composite panels, the all-composite CTEC panel will not absorb water, which can add to the overall weight of the vehicle.
Owens Corning also comment on the improved aesthetic appearance with the panel exhibiting a smoother, high-gloss automotive finish being engineered to be free of board lines or voids.
“The performance and aesthetic benefits of the CTEC panel give manufacturers exciting new options to differentiate their vehicles,” said Chuck Jerasa, general manager, Owens Corning Fabwel. “For example, the total weight reduction achieved through the lighter panel frees design engineers to incorporate more features and amenities such as televisions or tile flooring instead of vinyl. Our panel literally opens up a whole new field of options to manufacturers – allowing them to think in exciting new ways.”
“RVing is becoming increasingly popular – in fact, some analysts have projected that annual RV-industry sales will rise six to 10 percent over the next five years. As more people spend more time in these ‘homes away from home’ it’s natural that they’re demanding better quality and more features,” said Jerasa. “The CTEC panel is just one example of the ways that OC Fabwel is helping manufacturers exceed buyers’ expectations.”
The American Composites Manufacturers Association participated in a roundtable discussion about the IMAGINE Act. Known as the Innovative Materials in American Growth and Infrastructure, Newly Expanded (IMAGINE) Act, the new bill is designed to promote the increased use of innovative materials like fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, as well as new manufacturing methods to accelerate the deployment and extend the life of infrastructure projects.
After the collapse of a drinking water pipeline in downtown Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Insituform was contracted to reline a close to 100 year old pipe underneath one of the canals. Water was restored successfully within five days, with minimal impact on traffic and the environment.
Australian organisations Austrak, Laing O’Rourke and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) have joined forces to develop polymer composite solutions for bridge transoms in a $10 million project titled Polymer Composite Transoms for Rail Bridge Deck Replacement (CompTrans).