BASF and Wabash National Corp. have developed the industry’s first all-composite refrigerated trailer with increased thermal efficiency.
“The global cold chain market is growing in excess of 15% annually. Building off Wabash National’s vision, BASF identified the best material combination to allow Wabash National to disruptively innovate in this growing space,” said Jim Reddy, the market development manager for the performance materials division at BASF. “With fuel economy and environmental forces continuing to grow, it was important that we work together to create a lighter and corrosion free trailer.”
The company explained that the all-composite trailer, which is a fiber reinforced polymer design using a unique blend of BASF’s resins, enables:
- 20% increase in thermal efficiency, reducing the energy cost of protecting perishable cargo;
- 15% reduction in weight compared to its aluminum, wood and steel predecessor, thus increasing the tractor-trailer’s fuel and operational efficiency;
- Global warming potential (GWP) of one, compared to traditional hydrofluorocarbon foams with GWPs between 700 and 1000; and
- Elimination of corrosion-sensitive structural metals.
“The growth in cold chain infrastructure and the significant investment being made in home food delivery services presented an emerging market opportunity,” said Brent Yeagy, group president of commercial trailer Products at Wabash National. “Our close connection with BASF and their material expertise made this concept trailer possible. We believe it could revolutionize the cold chain transportation industry.”