JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 53

USERS’ PLATFORM
Buses & Trucks

Making modular bus body shells from composite materials
This technical paper deals with the development of a body shell mainly made of GFRP materials for small buses (19 to 34 passengers). The main goal was to substitute the monocoque design with a more efficient “modular panels” design. Fundamental aspects such as design, fabrication and the assembly of different parts of the body shell are discussed. The main advantages of the modular design are also discussed.

J. M. MEZA, GRUPO DE CIENCIA Y TECNOLOGÍA DE LOS MATERIALES, ESCUELA DE INGENIERÍA DE MATERIALES UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE COLOMBIA J. A. RESTREPO, ICOLFIBRA MANAGER J. CRUZ, GRUPO DE INVESTIGACIÓN EN NUEVOS MATERIALES, UNIVERSIDAD PONTIFICIA BOLIVARIANA

mould was necessary for each chassis size. Moreover, residence times of the GFRP materials inside the mould were long. For these reasons, a new manufacturing process and a new body shell design were required. The final product was called Evolution-S. This paper describes the main design steps and discusses the main advantages of the final product.

moulds, while obviously being limited by the maximum size of the mould. These parts are assembled using mechanical fasteners and adhesives.

Design procedure
Building on knowledge gained through the construction of earlier bus projects, most of the bus body was designed using sandwich-type structures composed of GFRP skins and a polyurethane foam core. The first design step for the modular solution consisted in drawing a 3D prototype using the Solid Edge software [1]. Critical parts such as girders (see Figure 1) and joining parts were modelled using the ANSYS finite-element software [2]. Several prototypes were constructed and mechanically tested based on the results of these simulations. Based on the experimental results, the parts were redesigned and the results were incorporated in the 3D prototype. This 3D prototype was used to manually construct the models, which were mostly made of wood. These models were used to produce the GRPF moulds. Figure 2 shows a schematic representation of a side wall section, a

The new product
Figure 1 shows the new design concept called modular panels. The principle is based on producing different sizes of floor, roof and side panels using the same

ntroduced in April 2009, Evolution-S is the result of a joint research project led by the Colombian government, the Pontifical Bolivarian University (UPB) and Icolfibra, a private company. The project was launched in May 2007 with the aim of finding a more efficient way to produce a body shell for small buses with a capacity for 19 to 34 passengers. For 20 years, Icolfibra have produced monocoque body shells with GFRP materials using two moulds and a combination of different techniques such as conventional spray lay-up, open-mould laminating techniques and polyurethane injection.

I

a

b However, the manufacturing process was inefficient because a different
Fig. 1: Modular panels: a) Exploded view of different panels, b) Partly assembled parts

No59 August - September 2010 / jec composites magazine

53



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010

Cover
Contents
NEWS WORLDWIDE
Goodrich Corporation acquires Crompton Technology Group
Reichhold expands manufacturing capacity in Turkey
LAP wins order from Airbus
Toho Tenax Europe to supply carbon fibre for Bombardier Cseries
Glass Fibre - A global competition for breakthrough composite applications
Agenda of events
Innovation - Phenolic prepreg products for interior applications
BUSINESS
Market survey: China Yuan Long FRP broadens its range of skills beyond pultrusion
Shanghai Tung Hsing Technology: steady growth through diversified markets
Niche Market Bio-based polymers: a revolutionnary change
Trends Kenaf, a fibre for the future: the Harusmas experience
Mechanical properties of naturalfibre-reinforced composites
FEATURE
Design - Wave impact resistance of racing yacht composites
Infusion - Regatta racing at the highest level
Adhesive - Flame-retardant adhesive for power packs in marine applications
Control - Validation of marine structures - Testing appraoches
Resin - New styrene-free resin: better for Catamaran Cruisers and the environment
VOC - Presatured wipes reduce VOC emissions
High performance - 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes around the world
USERS' PLATFORM
Composites in the world
Ying Yang table
The most luxurious golf car ever made
New carbon fibre band watch
Successful partners - A prefabricated FRP bridge for the oil and gas industry
Low-cost structural thermoplastic composites for transport
Making modular bus body shells from composite materials
Tougher fire-rated bus parts thanks to intumescent topcoat
KNOW-HOW
Bonding - Composite bonders - meeting the requirements of modern engineering
Manufacturing - ESTRIM - a fast-demoulding injection technology for epoxy composites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 3
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 4
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Toho Tenax Europe to supply carbon fibre for Bombardier Cseries
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Glass Fibre - A global competition for breakthrough composite applications
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 10
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Agenda of events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Innovation - Phenolic prepreg products for interior applications
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Market survey: China Yuan Long FRP broadens its range of skills beyond pultrusion
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Shanghai Tung Hsing Technology: steady growth through diversified markets
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 16
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Niche Market Bio-based polymers: a revolutionnary change
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 18
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Trends Kenaf, a fibre for the future: the Harusmas experience
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 22
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Mechanical properties of naturalfibre-reinforced composites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 26
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Design - Wave impact resistance of racing yacht composites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Infusion - Regatta racing at the highest level
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Adhesive - Flame-retardant adhesive for power packs in marine applications
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Control - Validation of marine structures - Testing appraoches
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 37
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Resin - New styrene-free resin: better for Catamaran Cruisers and the environment
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - VOC - Presatured wipes reduce VOC emissions
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 42
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - High performance - 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes around the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 44
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - New carbon fibre band watch
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Successful partners - A prefabricated FRP bridge for the oil and gas industry
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Low-cost structural thermoplastic composites for transport
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Making modular bus body shells from composite materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 54
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Tougher fire-rated bus parts thanks to intumescent topcoat
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Bonding - Composite bonders - meeting the requirements of modern engineering
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 62
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - Manufacturing - ESTRIM - a fast-demoulding injection technology for epoxy composites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 64
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 66
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #59 - August/September 2010 - 68
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