Design, Fabrication, and Evaluation of Experimental Advanced Composite Truck Frame Rails 791039

A heavy truck advanced composite frame rail design was developed by General Dynamics Convair Division for General Motors Truck and Coach Division. Design criteria required the composite rail have the same stiffness and strength as the production steel rail. The resulting 5.8m long graphite and Kevlar* reinforced epoxy rail weighs 43.2 kg, compared with 113.4 kg for the steel rail, a 62 percent saving.This paper discusses the design, fabrication, testing, and evaluation of two prototype frame rails.Several potential high volume production techniques are briefly discussed.


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