Hendrickson International and Delphi Automotive Systems have announced a technology agreement to develop and manufacture a composite bumper for the medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus markets.
Originally developed for the aerospace industry, advanced composite materials are lighter than steel, aluminum, or magnesium by up to 80%. Composites can be designed to conduct 50% less vibration than steel and to be more impact-resistant.
A concept composite bumper, first unveiled by Hendrickson at the Great American Trucking Show in 2000, was developed using a hybrid glass and carbon fiber design weighing up to 70 pounds less than its steel equivalent. This has potential applications in the medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus (Classes 5-8) markets. The structural composite bumper is stiffer than plastic bumpers and requires less mounting hardware, enough to support headlights, fog lamps, collision avoidance sensors, or sight-sticks. Eliminating brackets will reduce the number of component parts, help shorten assembly time, improve warranty, and reduce maintenance costs.