Design and manufacture of woven reinforced glass/polypropylene composites for mass transit floor structure

Academic Article


  • Recent developments in hot-melt impregnation, extrusion, and thermoforming offer multiple avenues for the design and manufacture of low-cost thermoplastic composites for mass transit and automotive applications. Fiber reinforced thermoplastics such as glass/polypropylene (glass/PP) have found their applications in front-end bumper beams, under body shields, and other automotive applications. These materials also have potential usage in mass transit vehicles, such as buses. The present study focuses on the design and manufacture of a segment of the floor of a mass transit bus using glass/PP woven tape forms developed through a hot-melt impregnation process. An initial study on the existing mass transit buses found that a metal skeletal frame and plywood panels are used in the construction of the floor structure. The representative thermoplastic composite floor segment featured a glass/PP woven tape material, belt-pressed to form a flat laminate, and adhesively bonded to a vacuum thermoformed ribbed laminate. A combination of analysis software including Pro/Engineer, HyperMesh®, and ANSYS 7.0 were used for the design and analysis. Weight savings up to 40% were realized using glass/PP woven tape thermoplastic composites as compared to the conventional metal/ plywood design.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vaidya UK; Samalot F; Pillay S; Janowski GM; Husman G; Gleich K
  • Start Page

  • 1949
  • End Page

  • 1972
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 21