Steel composite panels from Tata cut trailer weight by 22%01 February 2019

Tesco is trialling eight demonstrator trailers as part of a project, funded by Innovate UK, to test prototype units which are 22% lighter than conventional double-deckers.

Under the Lightweight Aerodynamic Double-Deck Trailer Trial, a consortium of partners – including Tata Steel, Lawrence David, SDC Trailers and Cambridge University – aims to reduce the carbon footprint of trucks, both on the road and throughout the whole lifecycle.

Four of the trailers feature Tata Steel’s Coretinium steel composite sheet, as well as chassis engineering by SDC Trailers, body design by Lawrence David and aerodynamics by Cambridge University. The result is a vehicle weighing 8.6 tonnes – 22% lighter than a conventional vehicle – and the ability to carry a larger payload. It also has a higher proportion of recyclable content than conventional rigid-body trailers.

Coretinium sandwiches a polypropylene honeycomb core between two steel skins to produce a lightweight but durable, recyclable composite panel. Weighing around half of an equivalent timber panel, Coretinium has been used in the prototype trailer’s side walls, front bulk head, rear doors, trailer flooring and second deck base.

Edwin Richards, Technical Sales Manager, at Tata Steel, said: “We have developed a product that is not only light and durable, but can be easily and safely recycled. We’re delighted to be working with a highly established trailer manufacturer, such as Lawrence David, to demonstrate how Coretinium can help the truck sector revolutionise its products to be more fuel efficient and sustainable.”

Coretinium is one of a number of specialist steel products that Tata Steel supplies to the commercial vehicle sector. It is produced at Tata Steel’s Shotton plant in North Wales, offering a local supply chain for UK-based trailer manufacturers.

Laura Cork

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