Europe's leading manufacturer of trailers for commercial vehicles, Schmitz Cargobull showcased the first compressed-air tank made of plastic for truck trailers at the International Motor Show (IAA) for Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, Germany replacing the metal compressed-air tank. The novel multi-step process for the manufacture of these reservoirs starts with a high-viscosity Ultramid extrusion type from BASF's polyamide-6 range, from which Comat extrudes pipes that are then cut to size. Subsequently, a process developed by Comat is employed to impregnate continuous glass fibers with a heat-stabilized Ultramid type: These fibers are then wound around the pipe. Finally, an injection-molded cap made of a third BASF polyamide is affixed to the ends of the pipe. For this purpose, the company employed a special welding technique so that the cap is joined to the pipe ends to be pressure-tight. The advantages of this plastic compressed-air reservoir in comparison to metal tanks are not only its reduced weight and cost but above all, its corrosion resistance.
This part was developed by a German company Comat employing three precisely harmonized Ultramid® types (PA: polyamide) from BASF's product range. The reservoir measures 1.2 meters in length, has a diameter of 32 cm and holds 80 liters. In trucks, it serves for the compressed-air control for numerous mechanical functions, especially for the brake and air-suspension systems.