Westerville, OH--Check this out: a truck wheel fender that redirects water back on the road in wet weather, and channels 1,500 cu ft of cooling air per mile over brakes and tires during dry road conditions. The first action increases safety and visibility for motorists, the second reduces brake and tire wear.
In addition to improved highway safety, the innovative fenders, made by Air Fenders Systems Inc., offer economic benefits to truck-fleet owners and weigh only 22 lbs. For the fender design, Air Fenders engineers selected Hivalloy W olefinic resin alloy supplied by Montell Polyolefins (Wilmington, DE). They based their choice on the resin's material and weight savings; UV-, scratch-, and chemical-resistance; and its balance of stiffness, toughness, and impact-resistance properties. The resin is a "novel" blend of poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) copolymer alloys, according to Ken Dargis, business director for the resin.
"Thanks to Hivalloy W resin, we have reduced weight and resin costs by at least 15%, compared to the polycarbonate engineering alloy we used in an earlier development program," reports William Weber, vice president sales and distribution for Air Fenders. "We also estimate that channeling the cool air over brakes and tires reduces wear and tear by up to 30%."
In extensive field tests, the molded fenders experienced no UV degradation or cracks. The toughness of the resin, combined with its UV resistance, allows the manufacturer to offer a five-year warranty against cracking and fading.
Canada's GM Heavy Truck Corp. distributes the fenders. They are used extensively in the U.S. on British Petroleum's fleet of tank trucks.