The Glue that Binds
Bonded composite trailers rely on adhesives
Call it glue if you must, but the adhesives used as bonding agents for composite trailers have the potential to solve some sticky situations. Bonded trailers have been touted as the trailer manufacturing technique of the future, and Great Dane has been testing the best techniques for this construction.
Growing Use of Adhesives
Increasingly, manufacturers of trailers, truck bodies, buses, construction machinery and even automobiles, are using adhesives to assemble frames, panels, and cabs made of metal, plastic and composites. By using adhesives instead of traditional welds, threaded fasteners, or rivets, engineers can distribute stress more uniformly; build trailers more efficiently, minimize areas susceptible to corrosion and—improve the look of the finished products.
The Future is Now
Great Dane has been successfully using adhesive technology for many years, specifically in bonded roof manufacturing. Now, we’re applying the same know-how to our trailer sidewall assembly. This approach eliminates over 700 rivets per 28-ft. trailer, which means there are fewer potential leak points and a smoother surface. The shiplapped design results in a durable connection that works very well with adhesvies. In addition, graphics are easier to apply and decal “tenting” is eliminated.
The additional benefits for our customers include exterior sidewalls that are easy to clean, which means there is less decal peeling and delamination. So decals look better and potentially last longer which is a win-win situation.