At last week’s JEC World 2016 event, which recognises innovations in use of composite materials, Renault and its partner Solvay took top prize in the automotive structural items category.
The winning cab part is made from thermoplastic composite materials, reinforced by continuous glass fibres.
Marc Lejeune, Renault Trucks’ director of research, says: “The use of composite materials reinforced by continuous glass fibres will enable us to reduce the unpainted cab’s frontal mass by 25% compared with its steel equivalent.
“As far as clients are concerned, these significant gains will translate into potential fuel savings and higher payloads.”
He adds: “Although we still have to validate several stages before we can think about putting it into production, composite materials with continuous glass fibres are a logical direction for our research due to the weight in savings they deliver.”