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Traditionally, plywood floors have to be mechanically fastened to the trailer body. The plywood flooring is joined to the body with screws or bolts, requiring the drilling of up to 200-300 screws, which can then lead to corrosion and noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) issues. In an effort to resolve these challenges, additional sealing of the mechanical fastening is needed, adding an additional step to the mounting process. Overall, mechanical fasteners limit durability while requiring attention to increased maintenance.
The “one-stop” solution developed by Dow Automotive Systems and UPM not only eliminates mechanical fixtures, but directly bonds the plywood floor to the trailer body using polyurethane adhesives. Due to the continuous bond line, the plywood flooring is as robust and secure as flooring mounted with traditional fasteners. In fact, the continuous bond line spreads loads more evenly than the point supports provided by mechanical fasteners, thereby facilitating improved joint performance.
In addition to increasing the structural rigidity of the trailer, the new solution also provides several other end-user benefits, including improved resistance to corrosion and water absorption, improved durability, and a quieter ride. The new flooring system may also help reduce the maintenance required for the trailer. Trailer builders can order their tailor-cut plywood floor kit from UPM, and it is delivered-along with the appropriate Dow adhesive-directly to the builder, simplifying the production process.