Curbell Plastics Material Donation Supports UC Berkeley Students with Human Powered Vehicle

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Beth Summers
Curbell Plastics, Inc.
716-667-3377 x7439

Orchard Park, NY, March 28, 2017 – Orchard Park-based Curbell Plastics, Inc., one of the nation’s premier suppliers of plastic sheet, rod, tube, film, adhesives, sealants, and prototyping materials, recently donated materials to a team of University of California at Berkeley students that conceptualize and manufacture innovative forms of human powered transportation. Curbell Plastics Phoenix, AZ location provided four sheets of PETG FDA compliant film, valued at approximately $250 for their recumbent bicycle project.

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Two members of the UC Berkeley HPV Team vacuum forming. The PETG film is heated to glass temperature and then pulled down on the mold to create the driver window.

The UC Berkeley Human Powered Vehicle Team built an aerodynamic recumbent bicycle as an engineering project to compete in the ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) West. The competition included two racing events, drag and endurance, as well as a presentation and design report. The team competed in Las Vegas March 15-17, coming in 4th overall, and 2nd in the Innovation category.

Undergraduate students who are part of the team gain valuable experience with the engineering design process, business management skills, and hands-on building experience. The team used carbon fiber in the shell and vehicle chassis, and constantly explores ways to integrate advanced composites into other integral parts to create a strong, lightweight vehicle. 

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The UC Berkeley HPV Team vehicle (BLT) competing in the endurance race. The driver window was removed for easier rider changes.

According to Bryant Phan, a mechanical engineering student who handles finance and operations for the team, “We had already researched various materials to use for the windows of our vehicle and we determined that PETG film would work best because it is easy to form at low temperatures. After researching potential suppliers, the team reached out to Curbell Plastics and they were able to provide the material we were looking for. We are very pleased to count Curbell as a sponsor of our team.”

Curbell Plastics, Inc. strategy of investing for the long term and focusing on customer needs has led the organization to grow from a small machine shop to one of the nation’s leading suppliers of plastic materials serving commercial and industrial customers since 1942. Curbell not only supplies plastic materials in nearly every form for thousands of commercial businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies but also provides innovative services, creative problem solving, and next-day delivery. Curbell Plastics has ISO 9001 certification for nine of their locations and corporate headquarters as well as ITAR and EAR compliance. A subsidiary of Curbell, Inc., Curbell Plastics is a privately held company with a 75-year history headquartered in Orchard Park, New York.