Martijn Wolf, Technical Consultant – Ricardo Rail (formerly Lloyd’s Register Rail)
Lightweight composite carbody – How to fit in TSI
Significant reductions in emissions due to transport are being demanded by policymakers and society. Reductions in the energy consumption of railway rolling stock are therefore an important objective. New materials, such as composites, are a possibility for building lighter trains, consuming less energy. However, using composites in trains is limited mainly to lowload carrying components. New knowledge and regulations and standards are necessary when building a train carbody entirely from composites. Therefore, in September 2013 the thirtymonth, European research project REFRESCO has started (www.refrescoproject.eu).
The REFRESCO project is composed of all major European suppliers of rolling stock, universities and research institutes, composite materials suppliers, international representatives of railway operators, infrastructure managers and manufacturers (UIC, UNIFE).
Composite materials have already been used in other industries such as the aircraft and marine industry. Its use has been developed over the past decades and meanwhile, a lot of expertise is available. REFRESCO aims to build upon the extensive knowledge developed in such sectors. Based upon all this information a “gap analysis” has been performed with respect to current railway regulations which gives insight in what is currently lacking and what data can be used from other industries.
This presentation will highlight the possibilities and difficulties when using materials other than metals in building a carbody and how to comply to railway standards.