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  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Murray Bridge S Aust.


    Had a gander at the aluminium plant trailer at work as to how the suspension and coupling is attached. The coupling is attached with HT bolts, and the suspension is welded to 150 X 75 X 10 angle, then that is bolted to the aluminium chassis, which is 200 X 75 Channel. The channel is rolled into a curve, similar to the link below.
    Aluminium Plant Trailers | Sureweld
    The caravan chassis would have outriggers to support the floor and composite sides, as per the image chassis 1.jpgcaravan chassis 2.jpg
    Have found an image as to how composite caravans are attached to the framing. Sealant would be used on all the joints.
    Hope this helps.
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Geelong, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by cava View Post
    Thanks Steve.

    I was thinking of a composite body, but unsure of how to secure it to a trussed design. Where do you get the special epoxies from?

    When I was building the dinghies one of the guys owned a chandlery, and we were just using common Epiglass resins.
    For specialist bonding the best bet is probably to get hold of the sales/tech reps for major manufacturers or a specialist composite supplier/distributor and see what they recommend for your particular purpose. Just keep in mind that the more specialised the product, the more expensive it will be, and also the more specific the preparation and application will be. Personally I'd be looking at appropriate design so you don't need to go too hi-tech.

    Something to keep in mind is to allow for flex/movement where appropriate. Composite panel structures are very rigid. If you attach one solidly to a chassis structure that is designed to flex you will introduce a stress point at the join.


  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2013


    West System epoxies are available at chandlers and fibreglass suppliers. West make an excellent range of general epoxy resins. But you wouldn't need to use epoxy unless you are specifically bonding a composite structure to aluminium. Polyester resin (the stinky stuff that everyone associates with fibreglass work) would be quite OK for making up and joining the composite panels, and polyester is much cheaper and easier to use that epoxy laminating resin.

    I'd go so far as to suggest that even if the shell needs to be bonded to an aluminium frame, that polyester resin and glass over a suitable foam core would be the way to go, and to solve the bonding problem by choosing a suitable glue that bonds polyester/fibreglass to aluminium (some sort of Sikaflex, or builders adhesive?). Or design a suitable bolted fixing.

    Steve is right to warn of the massive stiffness that a composite box structure will exhibit. But that's a good thing to have, and is a design benefit. You just need to design the frame and fixings accordingly.


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