Thomas products serve niche automotive and mobile markets for specialized applications that require high performance and durability including: air seats, fuel cells, air suspension and tire inflation. Our engineers work closely with major automobile manufacturers, as well as their direct suppliers on new technologies that hold much promise for tomorrow's drivers.
Typical applications for Thomas products include:
Air clutches with small air volumes hasten engagement and displacement, combining all of the best features of a disc type clutch with all the advantages of direct air engagement. These types of clutches are used in the machine industry, where loads driven by electric motors require an effective way to stop without slippage.
Air operated doors, for the most part, are standard equipment on larger coach buses and car rental passenger buses. They provide the operator greater convenience in opening the larger doors on these types of vehicles.
Air horns come in many different shapes and sizes and are used in the marine, semi trailer, fire equipment, bus and emergency vehicle industries.
Air seats provide pneumatic seat comfort via a system of integrated air bladders. The system comprises an air pump, control electronics, pneumatic valves, and a switch panel. The air pump inflates/deflates as required by the user. Deflation can be passive through body weight pushing the air out or active through vacuum generated by the pump. Massage cycles can be incorporated.
Air suspension is used today for cars, trucks, and SUV's (sport utility vehicles). Some of the high-end luxury vehicles along with over-the-road trucks offer air ride systems as standard equipment. An air compressor supplies air to either shocks or rubber bladders located directly below the axle or at each wheel.
Brake Assist helps reduce breaking distance and provides increased protection in emergency situations. The electronically controlled system recognises a "panic stop" by monitoring the rate of the brake application and initiates full braking within a fraction of a second, reducing the car's braking distance by as much as 20 percent. This technology is in production on several vehicles today, including SUV's, trucks, and personal vehicles.
A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device that converts hydrogen and oxygen into water, producing electricity and heat in the process. A fuel cell provides a DC (direct current) voltage that can be used to power motors, lights or any number of electrical appliances. There are several different types of fuel cells, each using a different chemistry.
Tire inflation technology (Central Tire Inflation) allows quick adjustment for changing conditions. Because central tire inflation improves traction, it can operate on low-quality haul roads and steep grades. It can reduce tire wear. Vehicles with central tire inflation have relatively low environmental impacts (such as rutting) on wetlands and roads.