At van Wees we believe that a number of process steps for making side curtains for trucks can be integrated. We have asked Max in Rotterdam to study this matter and they have come up with interesting and profitable proposals.
The present method of making a curtainsider for a truck or trailer is time consuming. The tarpaulin material is reinforced with a number of strength members. This welding procedure is done by hand and takes up a lot of space in the production plant. Due to the labor intensity, it becomes difficult to gain profit from this operation in highly industrialized Western countries.
Also, present curtainsiders on trailers are often damaged by criminals cutting into the sides for inspection of its contents. If the content is of interest, the driver is intoxicated and the truck is stolen. A high risk for both drivers and transport companies as well as their customers.
Van Wees and Max have studied these matters and have come up with a number of solutions and proposals through the use of UD and Crossply technology.
As you know, the UD and Crossply process is different from the present method for making technical textiles. In stead of coating a woven or knitted fabric, we laminate two or three UniDirectional fiber layers. A UD layer is composed of yarns that lay completely stretched in the carrier material. On the Crossply machine, a second layer is added in the 90 degree direction relative to the 0 degree orientation and the layers are laminated together. For tarpaulin materials, the yarns are Polyester and the resin is PVC. We have made a number of samples and have an interesting case for the present materials. But there is more!
It is possible to add the strength members in the Crossply process. The extra yarns will bond very well with the coated UD layers. It is to be determined whether these extra yarns should be added in the UD or in the Crossply step. The laminating step at the end of the Crossply production will bond the material in its final form.
In stead of copying the present tapes of 50 millimeters width, the strengthening yarns can be laid over a larger area. At the thinner sections of the tarpaulin, the material will bend more
easily. Thus generating a regular folding pattern for the side curtain. The rollers for the top rail system can be mounted in these reinforced sections.
Van Wees is working closely together with Bekaert in Belgium to come up with a solution for the cutting of the curtainsider. The third interesting proposal is therefore that we can add steel yarns in the Crossply process. The steel yarns can be positioned at specifically those areas that are within the criminal’s reach. Because of the conductivity of the yarns, it is easy to install an alarm, detecting whether someone is trying to cut the side curtain.
Furthermore we expect that the steel yarns can contribute to replacement of the strength members described above. The result of the implementation of the UD and Crossply technology will be a trailer with “streamline” surfaces.