LITS-Forming for Pre-Bending of Alumiunum Hydroformed Truck Frames
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 39, Golden, CO, 80402
Abstract70817 The load carrying capacity of large trucks could be increased by 9 percent if the truck frames were produced from aluminum alloy rather than steel. If 50% of the U.S. fleet of trucks were produced with aluminum frames, there would be a fuel savings of 32 million barrels of fuel annually. This project will develop a process to pre-form aluminum tubes for the hydroforming production of aluminum alloy truck frames. Phase I will: (1) demonstrate the basic feasibility of forming medium diameter tubes using Vortek lamp technology (developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory), with optics capable of tube forming for medium (up to 5¿ diameter) size tubing; (2) identify the significant technical barriers to forming large diameter tubes; (3) develop the basic control technology to automate the forming of tubes using the Vortek lamp energy source; and (4) prepare a detailed plan for a pilot plant in Phase II. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: This technology should help truck and bus owners and operators cut fuel and operating costs. Additionally, the Department of Defense, a major owner and operator of trucks, should benefit from reduced logistics costs associated with the transportation of fuel during operations.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.