A new fiber-reinforced-composite platform trailer, developed by Martin Marietta Composites, has won the 2005 ACE Award for Technical Innovation for Corrosion Applications from the American Composites Manufacturers Association. The trailer has a composite deck, subframe beams, suspension cross-members, outriggers, and rear impact guard.
With its use of composites, the trailer is lighter than conventional trailers and much more corrosion-resistant. The manufacturer also expects the composite trailer to be more durable than conventional steel or aluminum trailers.
Small repairs can be easily accomplished using a fiberglass repair kit. For larger repairs, components can be replaced quickly without causing any loss of strength.
The non-skid-coated deck is made from Martin Marietta's Transonite panel, a durable, low-weight pultruded composite sandwich consisting of glass-fiber-reinforced polymer laminate skins and a foam core. Because composite materials absorb more energy per pound than conventional materials, the pultruded rear impact guard may help to reduce the risk of injury in case of an accident.
According to the manufacturer, the fiber-reinforced polymer materials used in the trailer are resistant to many chemicals, as well as acids, road salts, and the effects of weathering. They are also non-flammable, self-extinguishing, and resistant to fatigue stresses.