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Truck roof fairing goes thermoplastic

SABIC's Innovative Plastics (Pittsfield, MA) business has announced that its collaboration with CK Technologies (Montpelier, OH), a provider of engineered plastic systems, and Volvo Trucks North America has produced the trucking industry's first injection-molded roof fairing, soon to be featured on all 2013 Volvo heavy-duty trucks.

SABIC's Innovative Plastics (Pittsfield, MA) business has announced that its collaboration with CK Technologies (Montpelier, OH), a provider of engineered plastic systems, and Volvo Trucks North America has produced the trucking industry's first injection-molded roof fairing, soon to be featured on all 2013 Volvo heavy-duty trucks.

This large component, molded with SABIC's tough Cycoloy polycarbonate/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (PC/ABS) resin and CK Technologies' proprietary in-mold coating (IMC) technology, delivers high strength, excellent heat stability and impact performance with a Class A surface. The roof fairing demonstrates the feasibility of replacing traditional thermosets with thermoplastics to reduce weight and energy requirements for manufacturing and enable recycling. Further, the IMC process yields a fully primed part, eliminating the secondary coating steps that generate volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This major breakthrough provides a more environmentally responsible alternative to thermosets without sacrificing the outstanding performance and aesthetics that truck OEMs and end customers expect.

sabic ip

Industry's first injection-molded thermoplastic truck roof fairing brings benefits to Volvo, including less weight.


Before SABIC, CK Technologies and Volvo Trucks produced this new injection-molded thermoplastic roof fairing, it was believed that only thermosets were capable of forming such large parts with the desired structural strength and stability to withstand the rigorous demands of trucking operations. However, thermosets presented a number of drawbacks, notably VOC emissions from secondary coating operations; lack of ductility that could lead to shattering and the need for time-consuming repairs; heavy weight that contributed to higher fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions; and an inability to be recycled.

Injection molding SABIC's Cycoloy resin using IMC technology solves all these challenges. The new roof fairing weighs 20%-30% less than a comparable thermoset part, depending upon the truck model, which helps improve fuel efficiency and cut emissions. Also, injection molding uses less energy and materials than thermoset processing. The IMC technology eliminates secondary priming and coating operations, avoiding VOC emissions and producing a part with a Class A surface finish that is ready for in-line painting. From a performance standpoint, the new roof fairings deliver an ideal balance of impact resistance, coefficient of linear thermal expansion, specific gravity and heat deflection temperature to withstand bake ovens.-[email protected]

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