Hyundai Translead has introduced a new, lightweight polymer fiber core composite panel for trailers. The company said in a news release that this new composite fiber panel, along with improved panel designs, will result in lower total cost of ownership for fleet operators.
“Our new and enhanced design changes allow for significant weight savings while maintaining the same durability and strength,” said Y.J. Park, vice president, product engineering at Hyundai Translead, in the release. “We are very excited about both the additional weight savings and new composite panel technology.”
The company said recently launched design improvements in its dry and reefer trailer models offer weight savings to fleets, allowing them to load more freight with each truckload.
The new lightweight composite dry van trailer features a new rear header, standard side panel specification, and side rail redesigns, offering a significant weight reduction of 330 pounds per trailer, according to the news release.
An optimized high-strength steel upper coupler is fully hot-dipped galvanized for added corrosion protection. Harness routing in the rear door header, along with convenient replacement of the side composite panels, allow for ease of maintenance. Roll forming has been adopted to improve and reduce components used in the rear header and impact guard.
Hyundai Translead said it has made multiple enhancements to its refrigerated trailers since 2019, resulting in significant weight savings of 680 pounds per trailer. The 2021 models feature reduced weight, improved durability, and greater thermal efficiency. Enhanced designs have increased durability and strength for flat and duct floors with floor ratings of 20,000 pounds. Reinforced polypropylene used in the new floor design provides significant weight savings, increases flexural strength by 30%, and prevents deterioration, according to the company.
Moreover, the company said, the lightweight refrigerated trailer offers improved thermal efficiency. Design changes on the front structure, upper coupler, and front interior connection combine to reduce moisture intrusion.
The new advanced fiber core composite panel was developed over the past three years in collaboration with LG Hausys, a manufacturer specializing in high-performance materials, including appliance and automotive components.
The new fiber core composite panel consists of a galvanized steel skin and fiber core, creating a product that is durable, lighter in weight, and has reduced thermal transmittance. A stronger polymer fiber core allows for a thinner outer composite layer, allowing significant weight reduction. Available on dry van trailers, the panel offers customers a weight savings of 155 pounds per trailer in addition to the 330-pound weight savings offered by the standard conventional composite panel.
Fibers in the core layer of the panel are mechanically bonded for improved strength and endurance. Additionally, the adhesive is anchored to the open cell for a longer lasting bond. The enhanced peel strength keeps water intrusion at bay, preventing costly damage such as delamination and cracks. Tested in extreme temperatures, the fiber core composite panel can withstand harsh conditions and weather, according to the news release.
The panel is designed with enhanced insulation, preventing moisture build-up and providing a safe environment for all types of cargo. Engineered to reduce heat transfer, the innovative panel’s fiber core reduces thermal transmittance up to 25%, says the company.
Thermal transmittance can cause condensation to accumulate inside the trailer due to the temperature difference of the exterior and interior atmosphere. Designed with enhanced insulation, the fiber core composite panel prevents moisture buildup and provides a safe environment for all types of freight.