body building a better fire engine
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Barkston have pioneered fabrication in a material new to the UK for the manufacture of fire engine bodies that are safer, lighter, stronger and more durable.
Barkston Plastics engineers produced the bodies in the co-polymer Polybilt,a material that has been used by the US Fire Department for the past 10 years, in place of the traditional glass fibre and aluminium.
Additional advantages of Polybilt include improved impact-resistance and ease of repair, compared with the traditional glass fibre and aluminium.
The co-polymer used in PolyBilt has a unique combination of compressive strength and flexibility giving it superb impact resistance. This translates in the field to little or no damage when impacting street furniture and walls. Even in a high speed collision, there is no shock transfer through the body, keeping damage to a minimum.
It is also highly heat resistant, meaning vehicle paint will ignite and tyres melt before it is even affected. The design incorporates an integral water tank which delivers a host of operational and safety advantages for fire and rescue crews.
The financial advantages of the new body include lower running costs and a remarkably long operational life of up to 40 years, plus a re-mountable option for a “second life” and totally recyclable raw materials.