The AVK-TV Industry Innovation Award 2005 has been awarded to Johns Manville and COMAT for their collaborative work on developing thermoplastic tension belts for the commercial vehicle automotive industry.
Currently in OEM testing and soon to be commercialised, the tension belts developed by COMAT are based on a thermoplastic plastic and fibre glass composite produced during a unique pultrusion process. Partnering with COMAT, Johns Manville designed glass roving StarRov 473A, with PP-matrix-integration.
Due to the innovative DExWin technology COMAT GmbH developed to produce fibre-reinforced profiles, and Johns Manville’s fibre glass roving StarRov 473A, the improved tension belts have a very high mechanic strength. In addition, the tension belts are non-oxidizing. The mechanical strength in profile direction surpasses conventional steel bands by a significant margin. In contrast to steel bands, Comat said that the new profiles are considerably less heavy due to reduced density.
Tension belts are used to adhere gas tanks to trucks. Conventional tension belts are made of varnished steel bands and corrode easily. Additional rubber mats are required to protect gas tanks from contact corrosion or steel band entrenchments on the gas tank surface.
Metal belts can be easily replaced by DExWin -tension belts using the same fixtures. The thermoplastic composite makes the use of rubber mats redundant.
The advantages of thermoplastic tension belts are
70 percent weight reduction in comparison to steel belts
Excellent recycling possibilities
Improved cost/performance ratio
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