First Volvo FMX asphalt test with Fiby Tipper a roaring success

The first test for Roelofs Tipper‘s Fiby asphalt composite tipper went beyond expectations.
The first test of the composite tipper with asphalt took place on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. At a pleasant outdoor temperature of 24º C, the Volvo FMX 8 x 4 was loaded under the asphalt mill at Schagen BV in Hasselt. After a few temperature measurements by the University of Twente, the familiar test route was ridden, after which the tippers stood still for yet another hour. Finally, after 2½ hours, the asphalt was unloaded without a hitch. The expectations were high, but there was also certain skepticism and a concern about whether the test really would pass. After all, this was a trial by fire. Fortunately, the concern turned out to be unfounded since the Fiby Tipper passed the test with flying colors.

Insulation   The composite tipper is better insulated than a refrigerated trailer, promised Roelofs Kipper. Temperature measurements on the outside of the tipper confirmed that this was no exaggeration. Shortly after the asphalt was poured into the bin, the temperature on the outside was 24º C. 2½ hours later, the temperature was 27º C – only 3º higher. For comparison, measurements were taken at some other insulated steel tippers. There, the temperature rose to well above 40º C and there were even measurements in excess of 50º C. The asphalt was dumped into the tipper at 173º C and unloaded after 2½ hours with a temperature of 164º C. So hardly any temperature loss occurred and that provides new possibilities. If very little loss of heat occurs during transport and the asphalt can be prepared at a temperature 15º C lower, this saves a considerable amount of energy. A simple calculation reveals that this is approximately 0.7m³ of gas per ton of asphalt. Straight to the bottom line.

Smooth floor  Plastic is smoother than steel and this was quite noticeable during unloading. To everyone’s surprise, the asphalt was poured noiselessly at a tipping angle of only 35 degrees. Truck drivers will have to get used to this. The load was dumped in one go without pieces of the load staying behind. Normally, a tipping angle of 50 degrees is necessary to unload everything. There was no asphalt sticking behind at all. There was a light stickiness only at the tailgate where some steel was used. The rest of the bin was as clean as a whistle.
Altogether, these were beautiful results that exceeded everyone’s expectations and which provide a fine perspective for the future. At the outset, there were several people who didn’t believe that asphalt could be transported in the composite tipper. Everyone said: “seeing is believing.” Now we’ve seen it!

And the Fiby Tipper is already a big success.

The province of Overijssel has supported the partnership with a grant for research and for the development of this innovative tipper.
The participants in the Plastic Tipper (Dutch: Kunststof Kipper) project are:

  • Kooiker Bedrijfswagenspuiterij en Carrosserie in Rouveen;
  • Roelofs Kipper in Rouveen;
  • TenCate Advanced Composites in Nijverdal, developer and producer of composite materials;
  • Norma MPM in Hengelo, complex electromechanical modules;
  • CTC (Composite Technology Centre) in Hengelo, composites knowledge center;
  • De Sprong Metaal in Nieuwleusen, mold builders;
  • ThermoPlastic composite Research Centre (TPRC) in Enschede, composites research center;
  • STODT in Hengelo, knowledge Center for the metal and plastic processing industry;
  • Hogeschool Windesheim in Zwolle, Plastics Technologies chair;
  • University of Twente in Enschede, the Constructive Technical Sciences faculty.

This project came about with help from Kennispoort Regio Zwolle, Development Agency East Netherlands (Oost NV) and the province of Overijssel.