Hyundai Translead on new trailer designs, patent pending composite panel

North American OEM, Hyundai Translead, has enhanced its dry and refrigerated trailer range in addition to teasing a lightweight polymer core composite panel that aims to lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) 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 of Product Engineering at Hyundai Translead.

“Our goal is to carefully listen to our customers and take those conversations further by developing and bringing innovative solutions that add value.

“We are very excited about both the additional weight savings and new composite panel technology.”

Recently launched design improvements in Hyundai Translead’s dry and reefer trailer models are reported to offer great weight savings. The current driver shortage across the nation has resulted in fewer drivers to haul equipment. With lighter trailers, customers can load more freight with each truckload, reduce additional trips, and save time. The ability to operate trailers more efficiently and lower TCO is paramount to fleet operators. Hyundai’s latest improved and lighter trailers serve these needs and add more freight per trip, contributing to higher revenue.

The new lightweight composite dry van trailer features a new rear header, standard side panel specification, and side rail redesigns, offering customers a significant weight reduction of 330lbs (approx. 150kg) per trailer.

An optimised high strength steel upper coupler is fully hot-dipped galvanised 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. Furthermore, roll forming has been adopted to improve and reduce components used in the rear header and impact guard.

Hyundai Translead has also made multiple enhancements to its refrigerated trailers since 2019 resulting in significant weight savings of 680lbs (approx. 308kg) 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 20,000lbs (aprix. 9,000kg) in accordance with TTMA recommended practices. Reinforced polypropylene used in the new floor design provides significant weight savings, increases flexural strength by 30 per cent and prevents deterioration.

Moreover, 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 weight savings combined with the increased durability and thermal efficiency make Hyundai Translead refrigerated trailers one of the lightest and competitive in the market.

All enhanced dry and reefer trailers have had durability verified, successfully completing endurance tests under six different harsh road types on proving grounds. Tested road types include: inverted chatter bumps, impact bumps, staggered bumps, resonance road, gravel road and cobblestone road.

The new advanced fibre core composite panel was developed over the past three years in collaboration with LG Hausys, a manufacturer specialising in high performance materials including appliance and automotive components.

The new fibre core composite panel is a lightweight material, comprised of galvanised steel skin and fibre core, creating a product that is durable, lighter in weight and has reduced thermal transmittance.

The new panel consists of a stronger polymer fibre core, allowing for a thinner outer composite layer with significant weight reduction. Available on dry van trailers, the panel offers customers a weight savings of 155lbs (approx. 155kg) per trailer in addition to the 330lbs (approx. 150kg) weight savings offered by the standard conventional composite panel.

Another benefit includes fibres in the core layer of the panel which 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 fibre core composite panel can withstand harsh conditions and weather.

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 fibre core reduces thermal transmittance up to 25 per cent. 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 fibre core composite panel prevents moisture buildup and provides a safe environment for all types of freight.

“The development of the fibre composite panel is truly a breakthrough technology,” said Hyundai Translead Vice President R&D, J.S. Lee.

“In close collaboration with LG, the material was developed over the past several years and we are excited to bring it to market.

“This patent pending fibre composite panel represents a significant advancement in our continued commitment to innovation.

“The benefits of this new panel will provide greater product quality for our customers.”

In 2019, the company shared its sustainable vision at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show.

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