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Composites For the Heavy Duty Truck Market

  • Thursday, 4th January 2001
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

Hendrickson International and Delphi Automotive Systems announced a technology agreement to develop and manufacture a composite bumper for the medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus markets. Advanced composite materials offer tremendous advantages to commercial vehicle manufacturers, helping to provide improved fuel economy, lower emissions, and increased payload capacity. Composites can be designed to conduct 50 percent less vibration than steel and to be more impact resistant. These corrosion- resistant composite materials could eliminate the need for painting while offering more freedom to vehicle designers to develop unique styling and aerodynamic features. A concept composite bumper, first unveiled by Hendrickson at the Great American Trucking Show on November 16th in Dallas, Texas, was developed using a hybrid glass and carbon fiber design weighing up to 70 pounds less than its steel equivalent. This concept targets potential applications in the medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus (classes 5 – 8) markets. The structural composite bumper is stiffer than current plastic bumpers and requires less mounting hardware, enough to support add-on items such as headlights, fog lamps, collision avoidance sensors, sight-sticks or other devices. Eliminating brackets will reduce the number of component parts, help shorten assembly time, improve warranty and reduce maintenance costs for truck and bus manufacturers and their customers, .

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