Custom assembly of refrigerated trucks

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ADDEV Materials offers its customers support in optimising the assembly solutions they use on a daily basis. The following example shows how ADDEV Materials was able to replace a complex and time-consuming assembly solution, with a simple, tailor-made solution.

The customer's problem

This Addev Materials customer has developed a new type of ventilation hatch for refrigerated trucks. This patented system, which is placed at the level of the rear swing door, is functional. However, its assembly is complex and needs to be optimised.

On this project, Addev Materials worked mainly on the method of assembling the door, which consists of an ABS part obtained by plastic injection with an EPDM rubber part that acts as a waterproof membrane.

The main constraints in the customer's specifications were:

  • To assemble different materials
  • Need for air and water tightness
  • Thermal insulation
  • Smooth surface on one side and structured on the other

Two constraints related to the assembly of the trapdoor and to the conditions of final use are to be added:

  • During the fitting out of the truck: complex implementation because of the shape of the hatch
  • For the final user: to resist to the constraints during the use of the truck (cold, humidity, cleaning operations)

Disadvantages of current solution

Before choosing ADDEV Materials' proposal, this equipment manufacturer mainly used sealant to fasten the ventilation hatches.

Sealants are very effective materials, but they have the disadvantage of being complex to apply:

  • The sealant bead must be applied evenly, which is difficult to do manually.
  • Putty is a material sensitive to the external environment (temperature, humidity)
  • The polymerization of the mastic requires a waiting time before handling

Assembly solution proposed by ADDEV Materials

In this project, the challenge for ADDEV Materials was to find a solution that would allow for a high performance and durable assembly, while making life easier for the customer by:

  • Simplicity of implementation
  • Speed of application

To address these two issues, ADDEV Materials chose double-sided adhesive.

However, EPDM rubber is not an easy material to bond. ADDEV Materials has therefore chosen a differentiated double-sided adhesive, i.e. made up of two different adhesive masses, for reasons of compatibility between materials.

The chosen double-sided tape is composed of:
  • A polyester core
  • An acrylic adhesive mass to stick on the ABS
  • A rubber adhesive mass to stick on the EPDM
  • A protective film with a different colour for each side, to avoid any mistake during assembly
Implementation of the proposed solution

The solution proposed by ADDEV Materials is cut to size, to match the geometry of the parts to be assembled, while scrupulously respecting the tolerances.

For the equipment manufacturer, this application is much simpler than a sealant, as it only requires:
  1. Remove the protective film from the acrylic adhesive part
  2. Stick the adhesive on the ABS
  3. Remove the second protective film
  4. Attach the EPDM part
  5. Press hard to ensure immediate bonding, as it is a pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA)

Half cutting: for maximum ease of attachment of adhesives

To make the use of its adhesive tape products even more pleasant, ADDEV Materials pre-cuts the protective films, which makes peeling easier.

Customised support from ADDEV Materials

The context of ADDEV Materials' intervention for this project was quite standard:

  • Identification of targets for a special vehicle action plan

ADDEV Materials offers its know-how and experience to all special vehicle manufacturers and equipment suppliers. This equipment manufacturer was therefore naturally identified as a potential customer.

  • Meeting with the customer

A technical sales team from ADDEV Materials visited the customer at his request, so that he could present his problems.

  • Study of solutions

Our sales team quickly identified the problem of the trap fastening and studied the proposed solutions. The supply of a complete specification from the customer was necessary.

  • Proposal of prototypes

The ADDEV Materials teams listened to the customer throughout the project and proposed appropriate solutions. These were submitted for validation and tested at the customer's site.

How long does a project take?

Each project is unique and the time required varies according to different criteria, technical complexity, and especially the validation tests to be performed. On average, it takes 6 months from the start of a project to the delivery of finished parts.

In summary

The alternative fastening method proposed by ADDEV Materials has already been validated by the customer, notably through laboratory and on-site tests. For the end user, this optimization of the assembly process should result in easier maintenance.

Are you looking for a custom application for refrigerated trucks? Contact us to find out more!

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