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With help from DIAB and CCG, N.S. Rama Rao Body Works (NSR), Chennai, India, one of the country’s leading manufacturers of road tankers is ready to revolutionise the concept of lightweight and high-strength containers, using composite material instead of metal for the construction.
According to DIAB, India has the second largest road network in the world (3.83 million km) and roads are the dominant mode of transportation in India today. They carry almost 90 percent of the country’s passenger traffic and 65 percent of its freight. India Truck Industry has played a major role in the Indian trade and commerce for decades. Currently, there are more than 1,300 trucks per million people.
DIAB explains, trucks can accept goods in smaller quantities, reaching rural and hill areas. They also require less time than rail for loading and unloading of goods. However, the trucking business is highly affected by rising fuel prices and lorry operators do their best to lower their operating costs.
Traditionally, these are built with aluminium and stainless steel to avoid corrosion and assure longer life. However, to reduce the weight of the container and thus the vehicle’s fuel consumption, DIAB says that NSR was very keen on converting from metal to sandwich composite containers.
Being new to composite use, NSR asked DIAB’s Composites Consulting Group (CCG) to provide onsite support and training to develop the product, from mould manufacturing to container production. Two types of containers are currently being made: one for dry goods and one for refrigerated products. The containers are manufactured separately and then fitted onto the chassis, unlike metal containers that are built directly on the chassis.
DIAB says that NSR now uses Divinycell as core material for the new containers and as a result of this, they are able to lower the weight of their 5.5 m container by more than 50 percent, from 2 tons to 990 kg, resulting in increased vehicle mileage and payload. DIAB also claims that NSR Refrigerated Composite Containers provide better insulation properties, which reduces unit running time and consequently energy costs.
Photo provided by DIAB.
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