Doug Sharpe President of Elasto Proxy
Powerful machines inspire us. Maybe that’s why a single type of vehicle is known by so many different names. In North America, the combination conveyances known as tractor trailers consist of a powered truck and one or more detachable trailers. These transports are also called semis, big rigs, and 18-wheelers, a reference to the number of tires that hit the pavement. As big as these vehicles are, there’s more rubber used in them than just the tires. There’s plenty of plastics, too.
Recently, a supplier shared with us the excellent image that accompanies this blog entry. As you can plainly see, there are callouts for plenty of parts. Polymers play an important role in sealing and trim systems, fluid transfer systems, and fuel and brake delivery systems. Front the front end of the truck to the rear end of the trailer, custom fabricated parts seal out wind and weather, convey fluids and fuel, and help support larger assemblies.
Let’s take a look at some of the rubber and plastic parts in truck products. As an experienced solutions provider to the automotive and mobile specialty vehicle industries, Elasto Proxy custom fabricates the components that let drivers keep on trucking.
Truckers travel by day and night, and in weather conditions that keep other motorists at home. Rubber headlamp seals need to keep out wind and water, withstand a wide range of service temperatures, and demonstrate material compatibility with metal, glass, and plastic components. This includes headlamp lenses that are made of poly(methyl methacrylate) or PMMA, a transparent thermoplastic used as a lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to glass.
The front end of a truck also contains rubber and plastic parts such the transmission oiler cooler (TOC) hose, TOC quick connect, and oil pickup tube. Along with oil and abrasion resistance, compliance with Society of Automotive Engineer (SAE) standards is important. The overmolded bracket that’s behind the headlamp assembly must also be tough. Typically, this injection-molded part is made of a hard plastic. Finally, the front end’s brake-line assembly needs to provide chemical and pressure resistance.
Engine Compartment and Cabin
Rubber and plastic truck parts also play a role under the hood. For example, the truck’s fluid transfer system includes polymer parts such as coolant and engine oil tubes. There are also rubber radiator hose and coolant hose assemblies, along with a plate-style transmission cooler and liquid-level sensor. The brake line assembly for the anti-lock braking system (ABS) is critical, and the hood to cowl seal protects the entire engine compartment from the outside environment.
The truck’s cabin also contains seals, trim, and fuel and brake delivery systems. From interior trim and trim seals to glass run seals and encapsulated glass, rubber and plastic helps to protect the driver. The truck’s cabin also features inner and outer belts, bulb seals, an extender fairing, and cabin flooring. There’s usually floor matting, too. Fuel and brake line components made of rubber include air brake lines, the rear brake line assembly, and both the fuel tank bundle and the brake and fuel tank bundle.
How Can We Help You?
Elasto Proxy doesn’t build big rigs, but we do specialize in the custom-fabrication of rubber and plastic truck parts that help keep them running smoothly. Our experienced solutions providers are ready to help you select the right compounds, design seals and insulation with all of your requirements in mind, and even source the door and body seals on the trailer. How can we help you?
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