Hadley bringing lightweight barriers to heavy trucks

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ATLANTA, Ga. – Hadley is joining forces with its Corvac Composites affiliate to produce a lineup of lightweight thermoform barriers for heavy trucks – including splash shields, under-engine covers, and underbodies.

Splash shields and under-engine covers are traditionally injection-molded or based on thicker thermoform materials, but Hadley says its approach will reduce related weights by 30-50%.

In addition to replacing existing splash shields, customers could protect any vehicle body area under the hood or truck to improve air flow and alleviate “hot spots” in the engine compartment, the company says.

Corvac’s technology is already used to enhance aerodynamics in autos and light trucks. The Corvac Thin Twin option forms insulating pockets between two sheets of plastic to reduce noise vibration harshness while improving airflow around the vehicles.

“It’s currently not used in the heavy-duty truck market,” Hadley president Jim Green said of the lightweight offerings. But lower-cost tooling and production processes have made it possible to bring the automotive tech into the heavy truck arena.

Hadley is no stranger to the truck market. It already supplies air horns, height control valves for chassis/cab air suspension systems, electronic valves, truck mirrors, and mini air compressors.

Green said the thermoform barrier products are currently being tested by major OEMs, but declined to offer details.

He admitted that some people look at the thinner, flexible options and think they won’t stand up to the rigors of a heavy-duty market. But he’s challenging that thinking.

“The fit, form, function and durability of the Hadley barrier parts will meet or exceed the product expectations,” he said.

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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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