Use of new light weight and innovative composite material in Commercial Vehicles for Exterior trims and adding crash worthiness for driver safety

Paper #:
  • 2018-01-0106

  • 2018-04-03
Improved infrastructure is creating a demand of more trucks on road . On the other hand drivers and owners are becoming demanding and quality conscious. Exteriors are the face of any commercial vehicle which makes the first impression. Robustness is an important criterion in defining exteriors as truck is prone to different accidents and dashes in construction sites. Exterior with metal parts is the basic need which a customer always demands. Tooling of metal parts is too costly and it is always viable goes with high volumes for OEM’s. An alternative which is popular for the same is SMC composite but it is feasible in low volumes and not a durable composite during hitting and cracks are generated which leads to a huge part cost to customer. There are drawback of metal also as it is more in weight and also a good amount of money spent by customer in repairing metal parts. Keeping in mind the feasibility of different materials carried out at VECV with an aim of getting less costly, mass production friendly, less repair cost, light weight and better finish/appearance. Selecting a suitable material is a challenging task as it requires the study with minimal changes and investment in existing cabin and without affecting functionality. With different combinations, the concept of DCPD material was explored and was carried out in exteriors such as Front Fascia, Bumpers and Footsteps. The methodology used to carried out the study is to study the current functionality, reduction of parts, light weight and high impact resistance with energy transfer during crash leads to increase driver safety. The composite is having shape memory properties and regain its original shape after crash or dented by another vehicle. Design modifications are carried out for defined requirements and evaluated by FEA analysis as per durability targets. DCPD material is light weight, processed through low pressure injection and with good impact properties with high elasticity and good surface finish. VECV used this material in various exterior parts and got a very positive feedback from customers as it is free from maintenance and adding more delight and earnings for him.
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