Correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at International Public Transit Expo '96, which the American Public Transit Association held Oct. 6-10 in Anaheim, Calif. Advanced Technology Transit Bus fabricator Northrop Grumman Corp. ``is not in the bus manufacturing business,'' said Kent Kresa, chief executive officer and president.
``Our goal now, in addition to managing the prototype evaluation phase, is to work with a manufacturer with the high-volume production capacity to produce these advanced transit vehicles in quantity,'' he said.
The prototype was unveiled Oct. 8 in El Segundo, Calif., and appeared Oct. 9 at the American Public Transit Association's exposition.
Circle Seal Controls Inc. of Corona, Calif., developed an alternate pressure-relief device for use with all-composite fuel tanks that Lincoln Composites of Lincoln, Neb., makes for the natural-gas-vehicle market.
Circle Seal has a patent pending on the development, which will provide a more advanced, safer pressure-relief device using eutectic materials, said Charlie Kurz of Santa Ana, Calif., a Lincoln sales representative.
Kurz said the device is intended to relieve pressure at a certain temperature in a fire. The eutectic material melts and frees a piston to allow unrestricted outflow. A fire may occur but an explosion is avoided.
Lincoln Composites, formerly Brunswick Composites, employs 350 at three facilities in Lincoln and one in Camden, Ark. The firm has more than 35 years experience in the filament winding of advanced composite products and used its aerospace background in entering the NGV fuel tank market in the late 1980s.
NGV tanks account for about 20 percent of sales of Lincoln Composites, a unit of Technical Products Group Inc. of Atlanta.
TPI Composites Inc. of Warren, R.I., manufactures a theme-park car without metal components for a specialty ride that is scheduled to open in April.
The customer, yet to be disclosed, plans to use the vehicle with a 400-horsepower engine, said Phil Mosher, TPI technical director.
TPI built the prototype chassis in three months and assigned testing to Schenck Pegasus of Auburn Hills, Mich. The all-composite chassis was checked at 2.8 gravitational forces for 100,000 miles and then at 8 G-forces for 100,000 cycles.
Eventually, while the destructive tests sheared a steel panel and popped bolts of the metal engine mount, the composite structure remained intact.
TPI makes extensive use of the Seeman Composites Resin Infusion Molding Process to produce large low-cost precision composite boat, wind turbine blade and car chassis parts. TPI, which is developing polymer composite body and chassis components and bus, rail and people mover bodies, generates annual sales of about $60 million and employs 350.
ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation uses a new interior composite panel from heavy-gauge thermoformer Kintz Plastics Inc. for mass transit programs in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Kintz Plastics bonds and laminates acrylic/PVC skins to aluminum honeycomb, said Thomas Lique, sales engineer, producing a lightweight alternative to traditional mel-amine interior panels.
Kintz supplies panels for luggage racks in light-rail vehicles for the Maryland Transportation Authority in Baltimore. Adtranz, the Pittsburgh-based ABB Daimler-Benz joint venture, awarded contracts to Kintz for the racks, interior ceiling panels, window masks and side wall panels. Kintz should complete the $600,000 effort in early 1997.
Adtranz also purchases Kintz panels for rapid transit cars for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority in Philadelphia.
In the past year, Kintz Plastics, based in Howes Cave, N.Y., added more than 30 workers and now employs 135. The company increased its facility by 9,000 square feet, to 60,000 square feet, and installed a new thermoforming machine with a 6-by-10-foot forming capability.
Kintz has annual sales of more than $8 million and, in October 1995, was registered as an ISO 9002 supplier.
Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corp. of Orrville, Ohio, may use a carbon hybrid reinforcement over a seamless impermeable aluminum liner on its Xpeditor trash trucks next year.
Structural Composites Industries of Pomona, Calif., manufactures the seamless aluminum liner and wraps it with carbon and E-glass fibers. Each tank weighs about 150 pounds.
Volvo GM is evaluating the product, according to Ronald Richelieu, director of public relations for the Taylor-Wharton gas equipment division of Harsco Corp.
SCI, a unit of Taylor-Wharton, manufactures versions of natural gas vehicle fuel tanks with full-wrap composites over aluminum, all composites and hoop-wrap steel. SCI launched the carbon hybrid program last year, supplying the hybrid design for tanks on Swedish-made Volvo buses and the Orion Bus platform.