Pultrex has recently finished a project with an automotive company working on lightweight components for commercial vehicles to make up for the weight gain of battery powered transportation.
There is no denying that adding battery power to vehicles comes with a substantial weight gain – something that automotive companies are looking to address. So, how do we bring the weight of a vehicle back down to offset the added battery weight?
The answer is in composite components.
Making a switch from traditional steel to carbon fibre glass composite means valuable weight-saving can be made, essential as the industry moves towards electric power.
The recent trials have been on a commercial chassis component, usually manufactured from steel. The success of the trial has been evident in weight saving just from the composite component, but there are many other parts of a vehicle where steel could be swapped for composites to get even more weight saving, durability and longevity.
Many of the structural components in a van or car could be manufactured in a composite alternative, including the battery boxes, and there are also advantages of replacing aluminium components with composites too.
Carbon Fibre Glass Composite vs Steel
- Corrosion resistant
- Chip resistant
The Eco Advantage of Composites
Thermoplastic composite products have solid recyclability credentials, and as such are gaining an ever increased foothold as eco issues and concerns about carbon footprint become more prominent. The key factor is that a product made from thermoplastic can be broken down and re-formed without losing any of the original structural integrity. You can find out more about why eco-minded engineers and architects are choosing composites in a previous blog about recycling in Pultrusion.
Composites vs Steel and Aluminium
- Composites have an improved strength to weight ratio compared to steel.
- Composites are better at handling tension than aluminium, reducing fatigue and maintenance.
- Composites can be tailored to add strength without adding weight, ideal in critical areas that bend or are prone to wear.
- Composites are inherently corrosion resistant, able to stand up to severe weather and wide temperature changes.
- Composites reduce maintenance as a single piece can replace an entire assembly of metal parts.
- Composites precise weight distribution enables balanced loading, less friction, and greater momentum.
- Composites absorb and dissipate vibrations, ideal for applications such as equipment mounts.
For more info about research and development projects, component trials and composite manufacture for domestic and commercial vehicles contact the team at Pultrex.