DIAB Divinycell core composite bus

Sandwich Composites for Hispano-ACGL’s first luxury coach

Automobile Corporation of Goa (ACGL), in which TATA Motors holds a 42% stake, is one of the largest bus producers in India. It has about a 50% share of the Indian bus market. Recently the company has expanded its portfolio with the introduction of the Divo, its first luxury inter-city coach.

Styled by TATA’s Spanish coach and bus manufacturer, Hispano Corracera, ACGL has ambitious plans for this segment of the public transport market. In its first full year of production the company expects to capture 20% of the luxury coach market and it anticipates that it will be the dominant player by the end of the second year.

As well as being the company’s first luxury coach, the Divo is ACGL’s first public transport vehicle to feature sandwich composites.

The move from single skin GRP to sandwich construction for the front of the coach (fascia as it is known in India) and the floor is for a variety of reasons.

One of the biggest advantages has been the increase in safety performance of the coach due the better structural properties of sandwich - in particular impact strength. At the same time the weight of the components have been reduced thereby resulting in improved fuel efficiency. Another benefit of the sandwich approach is better NVH (noise, vibration and harshness coefficients).

These buses will be operated by fleet operators to fully realize the advantages of weight reduction, NVH etc and the influence it has on operational efficiency before adding new buses.

Both the 30 m2 (323 ft2) floor and the 22 m2 (237 ft2) fascia will be produced using an industrialized core infusion process. Initially production of these components will be carried out by a sub-supplier but eventually they will be produced in house at ACGL’s facility.

In addition to supplying the structural cores for both the floor and the fascia, Diab engineers provided the laminate schedules and process recommendations.

www.acglgoa.com

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