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NC site will test new material designed to make vehicles lighter

Gateway Research Park in Greensboro will be the testing site for a new material developed for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The idea is to make components for commercial vehicles lighter, more cost efficient and more durable.

To study the materials, the GRP Materials Test Center will work with the DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to test parts made with fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) composites.

The materials are expected to begin arriving in July.

“Gateway is a regional hub for innovation, and we’re delighted our Materials Test Center was selected to be part of the U.S. DOT’s efforts to improve commercial vehicle transportation throughout the nation,” said Jim Westmoreland, interim executive director at Gateway Research Park. “This is our first major federal testing contract and as you might imagine, our GMTC team is very excited and eager to get started serving the Volpe Center on this important project.”

The GRP Materials Test Center is able to provide chemical, analytical and physical product testing, expediting their journey to market.

In this case, the Volpe Center plans to study the FRP components in the manufacture of cargo tank motor vehicles, testing for strength, impact resistance and flexibility. This will allow the DOT to standardize permitting for tank construction by manufacturers using FRP composites.

Original Article Source: Triangle Business Journal