Page 26 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - December 2021
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 Forrester adds that Volta are now working Steyr Automotive on the possibility of using renewable energy sources in its manufacturing process. “Having signed the contract only a
few months ago, there’s a lot to work through to be in a position to start manufacturing prototype vehicles by mid-2022, but we will always look for sustainable manufacturing practices to be implemented,” he says.
A part of that sustainable manufacturing process comes with the materials used to make the parts for the truck. For example, when the Volta Zero demonstrator was launched in September 2020, it was
built with flax and biodegradable resin composite body panels.
However, Forrester notes that it is
not yet possible to industrialise the
flax composite at the volumes needed,
so instead Volta is now working with composites supplier CPC in Italy on a sustainable recycled carbon fibre product, which is set to be ready for the start of production. The body panels will also be recyclable at the end of the truck’s life, further improving its sustainability. “Volta is [also] developing a roadmap
to the most sustainable body panels,”
he adds.
The batteries used in Volta’s Zero, supplied by Proterra, are also set to be more sustainable that equivalents used by other manufacturers. “One of the reasons we chose Proterra was because of their sustainability ambitions and practices,” Forrester says. “We’ll work with them on second life and end-of-life applications to ensure that the whole-life of the battery is as sustainable as possible.”
Meanwhile, 3D printing is emerging as a technology that could help to cut research and development times, as well as the resources used and emissions made in manufacturing and testing parts in the design process.
Petit Forestier has already placed a large order for the Zero
     Close-up of the flax used in initial prototypes
Allison Transmission is using 3D printing in its transmission design and testing to save on materials cost and real-life testing of new and adapted parts – plus this also cuts down on the duration of the design and testing phase, which means products can be brought to market more quickly.
For instance, using a high end FDM printer Allison Transmission can now print re-designed parts for testing in an actual
transmission, says John Manta, senior hydraulic systems engineer at Allison Commercial Powertrain Engineering. “We printed oil suction filters to check the fit and operated the transmission with it. We learned during this process the importance of print material selection; first, we printed one filter out of ABS material, which is the most common, and submerged it in an oil bath to understand how temperature affects

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