By Composites Fiberglass International/ Aug 22, 2022

Composite Materials in the Truck Industry

Quick summary

The use of composite materials in the truck industry is becoming increasingly popular due to their durability and reduced weight benefits.

Heavy trucks and other transport continue to gain experience with composite material production, their long term performance, and their properties through components that have already made the transition. In fact, for many truck and transport components, composites are the go-to solution and have been so for decades. 

The use of composite materials in the truck industry dates back over half a century when fibreglass was first used for its strength and weight reduction benefits. Today, the benefits of composite materials in the transport and automotive market have broadened beyond fibreglass and are seen in heavy trucks, buses, RVs and trailers. This enhances fuel economy and helps to meet weight restrictions.

There are countless examples of innovative uses of composite materials in the truck industry that are taking advantage of the strong, durable, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant properties of these materials. These attributes make composite structures ideal for the commercial trucking industry, allowing them to carry larger payloads with less overall weight.


Why use Composite Materials For Trucks?

Trucks and other transportation machinery are the most important parts of the global economy. Truck sectors are responsible for the transportation of goods and services which are the primary needs of human society. Therefore, manufacturing composite materials for trucks creates high stiffness, strength, and toughness to create reliable parts to ensure the essential processes of the economy run smoothly.

The most important properties of the application are the stiffness of the composite material. The new process manufactures polymer based compounds having excellent uniaxial tensile properties thus making them very suitable for trucks and other transportation. Composite materials manufacture light products with reduced dead weight, increasing the fuel efficiency of trucks using them.

For the manufacturing of composite materials using the resin transfer moulding (RTM) method, builders use fibres and reinforcements. The resin transfer moulding process enables the production of composite parts with different thicknesses, sizes, and shapes for truck equipment needs. The size of manufactured components is limited only by the size of the mould tool that is used. Using the technology, load bearing structures can have high specific stiffness and strength to withstand heavy loads during all stages of operation. 

This new technology for manufacturing composite materials is an important step towards our aims to use more high quality, eco-friendly materials in the truck industry, creating an increasingly sustainable future.


Composite Materials are Driving the Future For the Truck Industry

Composite materials in the truck industry are used to manufacture commercial trucks for the needs of consumers. For example, you can use composite sandwich panel technology to build lightweight bodies for refrigerated delivery pods. The result was a lighter design with reduced emissions and increased productivity allowing for the transport of higher volumes of product. Composites Fibreglass international has a range of core materials for your truck projects.


The Benefits of Using Composite Materials in the Truck Industry

With the environmental impact of fuel, composite materials have the power to significantly reduce unnecessary fuel consumption. This is only one of the ways composites can benefit the truck industry and the environment.


Larger, But Lighter

There is a trend in the transportation industry for larger trucks. Whether it’s Utes, commercial or articulated trucks, composite materials are making trucks larger but lighter to carry goods. The challenge is to find ways to safely carry greater loads while saving fuel and reducing the environmental impact.  As a result, fewer vehicles are required to transport the same amount of goods, improving the overall fleet fuel efficiency, and reducing fuel, fleet, and personnel costs.


Better For The Environment 

Besides fewer trucks on the road, many automotive producers are looking to grow their electric truck fleets. Composite materials in the truck industry also offer additional benefits when it comes to an electric truck battery box, providing good thermal management that helps demonstrate the environmental advantages of composite materials.

The enclosure that houses the truck’s batteries can also benefit from composite materials. Rather than building a battery box from steel or aluminium, composite materials such as carbon fibre can save around 40% of the weight.

Another option, fibreglass, is 300 times more thermally efficient than aluminium or steel, which makes it an ideal material for the battery enclosure as it better shields the battery from heat and contributes to a faster and more energy-saving cold start in colder conditions. This is important because maintaining the battery box’s internal temperature requires energy to heat or cool the box accordingly. Using more thermally efficient composite materials in the battery box’s construction reduces the energy consumption of the vehicle.


Reduce Maintenance 

Trucks must function for long durations and can become susceptible to corrosion from moisture and chemicals in road salts, increasing the need for maintenance and causing damage. Many trucks with aluminium components are treated with a substance containing a corrosion inhibitor, which adds a corrosion-resistant coating to the material’s surface. This is less effective as it wears off over time and maintenance must be carried out to restore the part’s condition.

However, the use of composite materials in the truck industry provides natural corrosion resistance, which means that trucks can operate for longer without the need for maintenance.

Composite materials in the truck industry provide environmental and cost-effective solutions for the manufacturing of trucks. Using profiles from fibreglass, carbon fibre, and hybrid composites, composites help to make vehicles lighter, improve fuel efficiency, and reduce lifetime operating costs.


Contact Composites Fibreglass International Today

Composites Fibreglass International is a privately owned and operated company, we source our raw materials globally through our network of trusted and prestigious suppliers to bring specialised products and the latest technologies to our customers. Composite Fibreglass International have been operating in the Asia region and with global suppliers for over 50 years. We have a strong network of professional minded people who are as devoted to the composites market as we are. Call us here or contact us today to mind out more information about composite materials in the truck industry.

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