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January 10, 2014 - General Transportation

Fire Retardant Adhesives In Rail Systems

Every year, fire-related accidents occur on trains in the U. S. and worldwide; between 2003 and 2008, there were 118 fire-related accidents in the U.S. alone.

Thankfully, rail transportation remains one of the safest modes of passenger travel in the U. S. and these accidents are rare. Also, thankfully, when fire-related accidents have occurred on U.S. rolling stock in recent years, they have rarely resulted in death. Still, they are serious and traumatizing occurrences to be avoided at all costs, and injuries are common when they do occur.

In fact, between 2003 and 2008, fire-related train accidents were responsible for 35% of passenger injuries among all train accident types, according to the Federal Transit Administration (fta.dot.gov). Other accident types responsible for injuries include collision and derailment.

It’s important that train manufacturers plan for these emergencies at every stage of construction, when it’s possible to have an impact on lessening their destructive effects.

Bostik can help.

Fire retardant Adhesive Applications:

The applications for fire retardant adhesives on rail-cars (as well as other types of transportation) are manifold. Each of these applications in fire-resistance helps to slow the spread of fire in those situations in which every second counts, allowing passengers more time to evacuate safely. Below are three of the most important applications:

Application #1: General Sealing

General sealing is an important application for fire retardancy. When a sealant–such as that applied to the frame or the weldline–is flame retardant, it can help to slow the spread of fire at the slight fire-roadblock that the sealant creates. Extra seconds can make a big difference in an emergency.

Fire retardant adhesives being applied to the rail-car

Sealant being applied to the rail-car.

Application #2: Cladding

The outer skin of the rail-car is another important area in which to utilize adhesives that are fire-resistant. The more fire retardant the cladding is, the longer it takes for a fire that has started on the exterior of the rail-car to spread to the interior, where the passengers are, giving them more time to evacuate.

Application #3: Flooring

In the event of a fire emergency, fire retardant adhesives applied along the flooring of the rail-car can prolong its composure while passengers are evacuating. It’s essential that the floor remain level and endure as long as possible so that all passengers are able to escape the train before the floor caves in, or is too unstable to traverse easily.

A Line of Fire-Retardant Adhesives

Bostik offers a line of flame resistant adhesives that remain uniquely powerful in fulfilling the needs of their individual applications.

At Bostik, we keep our customers at the forefront of our minds as we develop more innovative, environmentally-friendly and safe products. It’s our endeavor to make the world a safer place by doing what we do best even better, and to make adhesives that push technology into the next age of human safety. Learn more about the technology of our adhesives for the rail industry.

Works Cited:

Federal Transit Administration. “2009 Rail Safety Statistics Report.” Fta.dot.gov. N.p., 2009. Web. 9 Jan. 2014. <http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/Rail_Safety_Statistics_Report_2009-FINAL.pdf>.

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