Composites Today

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Exel Composites to supply pultruded composites profiles to Foton Bus & Coach Company

Exel Composites (Finland) has secured a new project with Chinese automotive manufacturer Foton Bus and Coach Company to supply pultruded glass fiber composite profiles. The agreement, signed in February 2024, will see the glass fiber profiles manufactured locally in China. These will reduce both the maintenance requirements and weight of the vehicles, due to composites’ corrosion resistant and lightweight properties. Additionally, the geometric design flexibility of composites enables wider structural engineering possibilities than traditional metals, such as steel and aluminum. Foton Bus and Coach Company, a subsidiary of the Chinese BAIC company, manufactures a wide range of commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses, vans, and construction vehicles. In line with industry trends, Foton has shifted its focus to electric and hydrogen vehicle manufacturing, particularly in the bus and coach sector. Exel will produce a series of structural composite profiles for many different bus models. These profiles, including fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) side panels, skirt panels, and fake roofs, are manufactured using pultrusion technology with glass fiber composites. These offer greater tensile strength and durability while reducing density by 30 per cent, compared to traditional aluminum profiles.