Designing the railway of the future: Fire resistant composite materials and smart modular design

mat4rail-logo-1_0.jpgInnovative materials and modular design for rolling stock are considered to become key to success in Europe’s railway industries.

Composite materials with their unique properties, such as lightness or reparability have demonstrated a high potential for lighter, more energy- and cost-efficient structural components in relevant sectors such as aeronautic or automotive industries.

Europe’s railway industries require a step change in technologies and design for the next generation of rail vehicles in order to remain competitive globally. However, currently available structural composites do not meet Fire, Smoke & Toxicity requirements of the railway sector, and thus cannot be used for the manufacturing of carbodyshell parts.

The multi-disciplinary consortium of Mat4Rail brings extensive expertise in engineering and materials research covering resin development and composite manufacturing and joining technologies, testing and characterisation of materials with respect to fire, smoke and toxicity (FST) as well as mechanical properties.

Mat4Rail’s materials team will synthesize novel fire retardant resins, manufacture composite batches, and modify fatigue and static load cases according to new requirements for polymeric materials. Furthermore, they will develop structural adhesive bonding combined with riveting and bolting for permanent and non-permanent joints and the repair of the new composites, and assess novel design concepts for access door systems using new materials and joining technologies.

In a second work stream, the design and engineering teams will develop new concepts for interior design of rolling stock including plug and play systems, innovative lightweight seats, and a compact and ergonomic driver’s desk.

Funding Programme: H2020-S2RJU-2017

Budget: 3.5 million euro

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Start date: 
01 Sep 2017
End date: 
31 Aug 2019