Design, fabrication and testing of sandwich panel decking for use in road freight trailers

Galos, J, Sutcliffe, M and Newaz, G 2018, 'Design, fabrication and testing of sandwich panel decking for use in road freight trailers', Journal of Sandwich Structures and Materials, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 735-758.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Design, fabrication and testing of sandwich panel decking for use in road freight trailers
Author(s) Galos, J
Sutcliffe, M
Newaz, G
Year 2018
Journal name Journal of Sandwich Structures and Materials
Volume number 20
Issue number 6
Start page 735
End page 758
Total pages 24
Publisher Sage Publications Ltd.
Abstract This paper investigates the potential of sandwich structures in the novel application of road freight trailer decking. Sandwich panels are developed to be lightweight replacements to conventional birch plywood hardwood decking, which is the norm in European road freight trailers. A tailored material selection process is used to identify the most advantageous sandwich panel material combinations with respect to flexural properties and material cost. Sandwich panels with woven glass fibre-reinforced polyester and an end-grain balsa are found to be the most advantageous material combination in terms of both raw material cost and mechanical performance. These panels are fabricated using a single shot fabrication technique and are approximately 30% lighter than conventional birch plywood trailer decking. This weight saving corresponds to approximately 165 kg in a standard 13.6 m long European road freight trailer. Three-point bend testing has shown that these sandwich panels have superior flexural strength and comparable flexural stiffness to birch plywood. Large panel testing confirmed that these panels can withstand roughly four times the forklift wheel load likely to be seen in-service. The shear properties of two grades of rigid end-grain balsa core are also studied to illustrate the importance of using a higher density balsa core. Practical considerations, such as joining and recyclability, for using sandwich panels in this application are also discussed.
Subject Composite and Hybrid Materials
Road Transportation and Freight Services
Keyword(s) Sandwich design
road freight
balsa core
flexural testing
DOI - identifier 10.1177/1099636216680153
Copyright notice © The Author(s) 2016
ISSN 1099-6362
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