The Technical side of the Smooth-Side Trailer
We are going to explain why the ordinary rivet is being replaced by an extra ordinary piece of tape.
From the stand point of strength, the rivet does a satisfactory job, but now the industry is looking for more. Not only is strength demanded, but appearance has a much higher priority than ever before. The reason that appearance is so important, has to do with major advances in the graphics industry. Impressive billboards 12 ft high and 53 ft long can now be applied to the sides of a semi-trailer. These graphics are magnificent , multicolored, images that identify some of the leading companies in America and abroad.
The problems with the rivet are many, however, we will limit ourselves here to only three which effect the art work most.
One - The best art will be on a smooth surface. An ordinary manufactured trailer can have as many as 10,000 rivets exposed. This makes the surface irregular. Clusters of rivets will ripple the sides and surfaces even more. Even expertly applied graphics will look wavy, rippled, uneven, and unprofessional from the very beginning.
Two - Over time, this beautiful and expensive art can quickly begin to look shabby. The culprit again is the little rivet head. Each one of the 10,000 is a potential for blistering, cracking, pealing and rust. The rivets closer to the ground are especially vulnerable to the elements and cause most of the visual destruction.
Three - Finally the every day maintenance
of keeping the trailer clean, waxed and polished can be extremely time consuming because
of the rivets. It just makes it expensive to care for.
The matter of completely replacing the graphics later is an even more expensive project.>
The "smooth- side" advance in technology has to do with something as simple as tape. But, not a simple tape. We have chosen to use a 3-M Industrial Tape. The trade mark is VHB which is an acronym for -Very High Bond. The tape is an acrylic foam tape , double coated with adhesive to hold in place, and actually designed to replace permanent fasteners like rivets. Once the foam is in place , pressure is applied. The pressure burst the gas bubbles encased within the foam releasing the catalyst which transforms the foam into a dense plasticized compound. As this plastic substance cures and eventually hardens, very powerful molecular forces are set upon the surface of the metal it joins together. Performance Trailers Inc. has designed an ingenious sheet metal joint that utilizes the amazing properties of the VHB tape. The magical properties of the tape and the powerful efficiency of the joint design have allowed Performance to develop the second generation " smooth - side' trailer.. A perfect place to put your companies logo.