How Fiberglass Composites Revolutionized Mass Transit Design

Ryan Franklin
April 17, 2024

More than 28 million Americans rely on public transportation, but the competition is fierce, and the margins are slim. In addition to competing with privately-owned cars, mass transit systems must find ways to edge out tech-driven transportation systems like Uber, Lyft, bike-share programs, and shared electric scooters.

To do so, they must cut costs, increase efficiency, and find creative ways to lure in consumers who have more options available than ever before. This is where Painted Rhino comes in. Here’s how our fiberglass composites have revolutionized mass transit design.

Why Fiberglass?

To fully understand the benefits of fiberglass, you must first know how it differs from traditional materials like steel and aluminum.

Fiberglass composites are made by combining a polyester or epoxy resin with glass fiber reinforcements. The glass fibers, typically woven into a fabric, give the composite strength and stiffness. The resin binds those fibers together to create a material that is:

Lightweight: Fiberglass composites are roughly two times lighter than aluminum and five times lighter than steel. That translates to better fuel efficiency, reduced operating costs, and improved vehicle performance.

Strong: Fiberglass’s strength doesn’t come from its weight density but from the woven fibers and resin that bind them together. When properly manufactured, fiberglass is pound-for-pound stronger than steel. It is also rust and corrosion-resistant.

Versatile: The beauty of fiberglass composites is they can be molded into complex shapes. From seats, engine covers, and dashboards to fenders, tanks, and steps, we’ve always got you covered.

Highly Insulative: Our material also has superior thermal and electrical insulation properties. This enhances energy efficiency and improves safety by minimizing electrical hazards.

Cost-Effective: In the long run, fiberglass is generally more cost-effective than steel or aluminum, due to its durability and low-maintenance requirements and because it does not degrade over time like metal.

How We’re Revolutionizing Mass Transit

By replacing traditional materials with fiberglass composite parts, mass transit companies:

Improve vehicle efficiency: The lighter the bus or train, the more fuel-efficient it is. That translates to lower operating costs, lower ticket prices, and increased profits.

Longer lifespan: Thanks to our fiberglass components’ durability and corrosion resistance, mass transit agencies spend less time and money replacing parts. That means less downtime and a more reliable option for riders.

More comfort: Our parts provide superior thermal and acoustic insulation, which means riders experience a quieter, more comfortable ride.

More design flexibility: If you can dream it up, we can definitely manufacture it. Our product allows for endless customization. Whether you need to increase aerodynamics or want to incorporate unique designs, colors, and branding elements into your design, we can make it happen.

Streamlined production: Fiberglass composite molds are generally less expensive than those used to manufacture metal components. Plus, the molding process is faster and more flexible. This allows us to consolidate multiple parts into one component and shorten turnaround time.

We’re Transforming Mass Transit One Part at a Time

With over 25 years of industry-leading experience, Painted Rhino has the knowledge and expertise to keep your fleet moving. You can expect quality craftsmanship, innovative solutions, and reliable service when you work with us. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and develop customized solutions that optimize performance efficiency and make your industry more competitive. Contact us today!