Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- Success with its Eko-Flor composite flooring products has seen Conforce International Inc. adapt its cs-4 module for use in trailers, to give a strong, lightweight floor offering a longer service life for the trailer.
Conforce's earlier cs-4 flooring modules feature a tough, performance-extending wear layer jointly developed with Bayer MaterialScience llc. Now Conforce has extended the concept to the xts module, which is a seamless shape that will better suit the tractor and trailer industry, said a BMS release.
Eko-Flor composite flooring systems uses a proprietary two-component polyurethane resin system based on Baydur PUL 2500 from BaySystems.
BMS said the pultrusion process gives a composite that is 22 percent lighter than traditional tropical hardwood and other wood-based materials used in trailer parts. It is also significantly stronger, sustainable and non-porous when compared with conventional material. And because of its strength and toughness, the flooring requires less repair and maintenance, making it more cost effective over its service life.
"Our goal for this product is to make it standardised flooring for trailers, replacing wood over time," said Perry Pearlman, vice president of business development with Conforce. Eko-Flor xts is also price neutral compared with wood, "yet it's lighter, stronger, and more durable which translates into improved fuel efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint," Pearlman added.
Pultruded PU flooring is also resistant to rot, mildew and insect infestation -- typical problems with wooden floors. Eko-Flor xts exceeds the Tractor Trailer Manufacturing Association Recommended Practices, which
rates van trailers and container floors for lift truck loading. Similarly, Eko-Flor cs-4 meets and exceeds ISO 1496 and IICL TB-001 strength and performance testing for ocean-going containers.
"The strength properties exerted by the Eko-Flor are like nothing we've ever seen in a panel of this type," said Harry George, head, Diversified Industries, new applications, NAFTA, Bayer MaterialScience, pointing out that working with Conforce has allowed Bayer to offer technical know-how as well as materials, to help develop an excellent product
Confirming this, Conforce president and ceo Marino Kulas said, "Bayer MaterialScience has been closely involved in production of the Eko-Flor modules, most often physically at the plant, working hands-on during development." Kulas added that BMS has performed finite element analysis, computer modelling, product testing and preliminary environmental studies. "Their expertise and assistance has played an important role in bringing this product to market."
The new floor is now being evaluated by tractor-trailer manufacturers, and full commercial production is likely to begin in six months.