Canadian Plastics

New FRP panels cut bus weight, expenses

A new series of buses constructed with a lightweight, fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) composite material is expected to provide bus operators with 25 percent savings in fuel, tire and brake expenses, a...

May 1, 2000   Canadian Plastics



A new series of buses constructed with a lightweight, fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) composite material is expected to provide bus operators with 25 percent savings in fuel, tire and brake expenses, as well as superior corrosion resistance.

Fabricated by TPI Composites of Warren, R.I., the bus shells are manufactured with Derakane epoxy vinyl ester resins from Dow Chemical.

Stephen A. Misencik, director of design engineering at TPI Composites, reports that the new buses weigh approximately 22,000 pounds –7,000 pounds lighter than steel units. Weight savings is achieved primarily through the use of a plastic shell that is 30 percent lighter than one made with steel. Lighter weight translates into lower fuel costs and decreased wear on brakes. The composite resins also provide the buses with significantly enhanced corrosion resistance over traditional materials.

The FRP buses are fabricated via SCRIMP technology, a proprietary composite molding technique that achieves higher fibre content than conventional methods, resulting in parts that exhibit higher structural strength.

The Dow Chemical Company 800/441-4369


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