The Problem: Masonite Board Interiors
A cab and chassis manufacturer from the Midwest approached Polymer Technologies with an aesthetic issue with their interior. The cab’s metal frame is covered with a layer of insulation to protect passengers from uncomfortable temperatures and noise. To create a clean-cab look, the manufacturer covered the insulation with a Masonite board which was then covered by a gray, interior fabric for visual appeal and comfort. Initially, this construction would create a nice, clean appearance inside the cab; however, due to the effects of heat and humidity, the Masonite board would warp over time, causing the ceiling and walls of the cab to appear contorted or deformed. The warping detracted from the overall appearance and comfort of the cab.
The Solution: Customized Corrugated Plastic
Wanting to increase the lifetime of the cab interiors while also maintaining the high-quality aesthetic of the cab, the manufacturer turned to Polymer for a solution. Polymer’s engineering team provided alternative sample materials for the client to test in their cabs. Testing of the material focused on two key requirements: rigidity and durability.
The client selected a material commonly used in Polymer’s military applications: a 4 millimeter thick customized corrugated waterproof plastic.
Using corrugated plastic was key as it allowed the client to move away from wood-based material. Initially, the corrugated plastic was slightly more expensive than the Masonite board, but after making adjustments to the manufacturing process, Polymer was able to reduce the cost of the plastic, making it less than the Masonite.
Polymer Technologies was able to create custom pieces to fit within the cabs. Polymer provided the parts prefabricated, so the client didn’t have to spend additional funds and time to manufacture the piece themselves.
The Results: Quality Interior & Cost Savings
The new custom, corrugated plastic was an improvement over the previous Masonite board as it provided:
- The correct rigidity
- Increased durability which results in no warping
- A small decrease in weight of materials
- More dimensional stability
- Reduced cost
With this new solution in place, the cab manufacturer can now create cabs that maintain a clean, comfortable look and feel with the added benefit of durability. With the warping issue eliminated, the manufacturer can promote longer-lasting interiors while also saving money on the materials associated with the cab production.
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