Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Vehicle systems such as cargo freight and platform trailers are a primary source of transporting heavy cargo loads. The construction and materials used in a standard trailer design contribute significantly to the overall weight. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and West Virginia University have conducted joint research to reduce the amount of fuel consumption of cargo transportation trailers by initiating a lightweight materials program. This study is aimed at the utilization of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites and Composite Sandwich technology in conjunction with innovative joining concepts to reduce trailer weight. Finite element modeling and experimental analysis reveal the benefits of using composite sandwich technology versus existing load bearing structures in a standard trailer design.;The composite sandwich technology in this work details the use of a core constituent that contributes to flexural stiffness while utilizing a design that addresses joining parameters of the faceplate and core.
Evans, Thomas H., "Design of composite sandwich panels for lightweight applications in heavy vehicle systems" (2006). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4226.