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Felco Manufacturing Harness Huntsman Composites for Transportation

  • Wednesday, 3rd August 2005
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

Felco Manufacturing, the Australian producer of truck mounted tanks for water cartage, has collaborated with Huntsman Composites to develop lightweight and durable transportation solutions for the haulage industry.

Using materials from Huntsman Composites, Felco discovered a need in Australia for truck-mounted tanks which were durable under demanding conditions, as the tanks needed to withstand constant use for long periods on the Australian highways and also in off-road conditions

Felco who manufacture tanks mounted on trucks for water cartage, road watering, fire fighting and the transport of molasses, diesel and corrosive fluids, produced a number of innovative products to meet these conditions. The lightweight tanks would also provide fuel saving and greater payloads for truck owners. The light weight and corrosion resistant nature of composites was also essential in achieving these benefits.

One million kilometres has been topped by a number of customers with trucks that can be on the road 6½ days a week all year round. One Toowoomba based customer takes the trucks north to Innisfail in Queensland and to south to Echuca in Victoria, a total round trip of some 6300 km. Another drives from Mackay on the Australian east coast into the cattle stations of the Northern Territory with much of this distance being on gravel roads.

The tanks range from 2000 to 15,000 litres and are fully baffled with lifting lugs and an access ladder. A sturdy steel frame and quick detach system is all included in the Felco system. The bulk liquid tanks are adaptable to flat deck, tipper or chassis mount applications.

The standard roadwork water tankers use Aropol 7241HT50 isophthalic polyester resin from Huntsman Composites. If the tanks are to be used in a chemical environment the entire laminate is made from Hetron 922 vinyl ester resin and an internal lining of Hetron 922 flowcoat is applied. Huntsman gun roving glass is used in the chopper guns and IPS Weld On adhesive, also from Huntsman Composites, is used to bond the two tank halves together.

Felco use top and bottom one sided female moulds to produce the two tank halves. The gelcoat is sprayed followed by sprayed resin and glass. Both transverse and longitudinal wall baffles are inserted then sprayed over the top with chopped glass and resin. The two tank halves are bonded together and then glassed over.

Felco also manufacture water and chemical tanks mounted on tractors for the agricultural industry. Tanks may mounted on the front, side or rear of tractors with steel support frames or a quick- release frame mounting. Tractor tank kits are designed for most major tractor brands and models and many of the designs are unique to the market.

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