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March 3, 2017 - General Transportation

3 Ways Composites Improve Rail Manufacturing

Due to a compound annual growth rate of 8.5% cited by Markets and Markets, the rail composites market is an increasingly important factor in rail manufacturing, offering significant improvements to today’s trains. Let’s take a closer look at three ways composites improve rail manufacturing overall.

Improved Aerodynamics

According to Composites World, composites are used in high-speed trains to achieve better aerodynamics. Rail composites make it relatively simple to create an aerodynamic front end of a train, or its “nose”. This enables trains to achieve greater speeds by decreasing air resistance.

Metallic materials, on the other hand, are harder to manufacture into an aerodynamic, rounded nose and cannot be easily cut or crafted into the needed shape.

Improved Fuel Efficiency and Strength

In addition to aiding in aerodynamics, composites offer lightweight solutions. This further improves fuel efficiency as a result. In fact, composites are 30-45% lighter than traditional materials while still meeting the same functional and safety requirements.

Furthermore, rail composites offer increased strength and toughness. For example, they offer a tensile strength that is 4 – 6 times greater than aluminum or steel.

rail composites

Improved Design Flexibility

Composites also provide increased design options for rail manufacturers over traditional materials. For instance, they allow design engineers to create complex shapes for specific train construction applications. This is especially evident in composites’ ability to decrease noise. They are the principal material used in creating air inlets on high-speed trains that help with noise deadening.

Adhesives and sealants are needed to bond composites together in rail applications. Bostik’s smart solutions for rail are compatible with a range of substrates and provide flame retardancy. Additionally, these solutions offer:

  • UV, corrosion and weather resistance
  • Lightweight and dynamic flexibility
  • Excellent stability of mechanical properties over a wide temperature range

For more information on how Bostik’s innovative solutions are the smart choice for composite rail applications, call 800-7-BOSTIK.

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