Composites for Rail
Gurit provides advanced composite solutions, serving a wide range of industries including Wind Energy, Aerospace, Marine, Automotive and Rail. The use of advanced composites delivers vital performance improvements, enabling faster, lighter, more efficient and lower maintenance structures to be built, with reduced total cost. In addition to the clear light-weighting and performance benefits, the use of composites in rail also enables greater design freedom, increasing passenger comfort by maximising the available space, reducing sound pollution, vibrations and making maintenance easier, for a cleaner, nicer passenger environment.
As the needs of the rail market have evolved, with speed, comfort, safety and decarbonisation all high on the agenda, so too has the Gurit materials offering for the manufacture of composite parts for rail. Gurit offers both epoxy and phenolic chemistries, in a SPRINT™ (semipreg) or prepreg format, as well as fire retardant PET core material, Kerdyn Green FR. By offering a full range of materials, even the most stringent safety requirements can be met, for interior, exterior, flooring and infrastructure applications.
Available materials include:
- Gurit’s 130FR: The 130FR series is a range of fire-retardant, epoxy-based SPRINT™ (semipreg), surface and adhesive films. The ease of use and processing properties of 130FR allow large parts to manufactured in one operation using vacuum only consolidation.
- Gurit’s Phenolic Prepreg range PH 840 has been developed with rail interior applications in mind, with high mechanical properties and excellent FST (low heat-release and smoke-density) behaviour. PH 840 can be cured between 120°C and 160°C (248°F and 320°F) and is suitable for manufacture of both monolithic and sandwich structures, using press, vacuum and autoclave moulding.
- Gurit® Kerdyn™ Green FR is a recycled thermoplastic core containing up to 100% recycled PET. It is highly adaptable, with a good balance of mechanical properties, temperature resistance, density, cost and fire-retardant properties. It is compatible with a wide range of resin systems including epoxy, vinylester, unsaturated polyester and phenolic resins and can be processed using vacuum infusion, bonding, prepreg, and thermoforming techniques.
A Collaborative Approach to Selecting the Right Materials
To ensure the correct material solution for each project, Gurit Sales and Technical Support experts work in collaboration with each customer. Drawing upon over 40 years of engineering, processing and materials supply history, this inhouse team can quickly assess and develop the right panel solution for each application
Advanced Testing and Application Facilities
Gurit’s in-house fire, mechanical and analytical testing laboratories are DNV/ Germanischer Lloyds certified and available to support each project. They provide a comprehensive suite of testing including:
- Analytical capabilities: Thermal analysis, chemical analysis and environmental testing.
- Indicative Fire test capabilities: FAA 4C Flammability Chamber, NBS Smoke Density Chamber and Cone Calorimeter.
- Mechanical test facilities to characterise tension, compression, flexural, shear and peel properties of laminates.
Gurit Application Centre
Gurit’s application centre provides an environment for large scale manufacture of composite parts, pre-production, to validate a chosen solution, check design for manufacture or help customers develop a business case to justify a change to materials and/ or technology. The Gurit application centre is fully equipped including a 150T Cannon Press, various moulds, ovens and facilities for training teams of up to 15 people in the use of advanced composite materials.
Composite Infrastructure Solutions for Rail
When considering the role of composites in rail, significant benefits can also be realised when using composites for rail infrastructure. One example featuring materials and technology supplied by Gurit is the Bradkirk Bridge in the UK. The bridge comprises of two 12m spans and two flights of steps. Each span features a fully moulded composite monocoque structure and was manufactured using Gurit’s SPRINT™, Spabond™ adhesive and Ampreg laminating system. The result was a virtually steel free construction with each span weighing only 1.6 tonnes. This Network Rail structure was installed during a routine line closure overnight and was completed within 6 hours. The bridge is expected to last in excess of 60 years and be virtually maintenance free. A great example of how composites can deliver lower total cost for rail infrastructure applications.
Gurit’s advance composite offering for rail can be summarised as:
- Superior light-weighting
- Materials to meet the most stringent fire safety requirements relevant for Rail
- Low total cost
- Simple to use materials.
Talk to Gurit if you are looking for manufacturing efficiencies, unique design features, robust yet low weight construction allowing for cutting edge performance.