16 January 2018
16 January 2018
The use of composites within the rail industry is predicted to grow by up to 40% between 2015 and 2020 according to the Composites Leadership Forum, reports Fibrelite, a UK manufacturer of composite trench covers.
The rising interest in use of composite products in rail has led Composites UK to join forces with the Rail Alliance to help companies understand these new materials and how they can be used to solve industry challenges. Key properties of composites that are helping solve these challenges are their strength to weight ratio, durability and longevity.
Composites' high strength to weight ratio means that smaller items like trench covers can be moved manually instead of requiring lifting equipment, larger items like train doors can operate faster and more efficiently, while even larger items like bridges can be built using less material reducing costs. Their durability means they perform year after year in all weather conditions and can withstand exposure to corrosive materials like salt and fuel. Their longevity means they last longer than traditional materials, reducing disruption which is especially important for products like sleepers. Finally, composite products can be custom manufactured to suit the application, instead of building on site, which enables fast installation, allowing products like FRP bridges to be installed overnight.
As part of the £70 million development of Doncaster’s new Hitachi depot, Fibrelite designed and manufactured 100 m of custom GRP composite trench covers to fit piping apertures, providing protection from potential heavy vehicle traffic (up to D400/40 tonnes) while allowing safe easy manual access for monitoring and maintenance.
Originally, concrete recess covers had been fitted on Oldham’s Metrolink platform over underground utilities. Due to their weight, these were difficult to remove and replace, requiring specified lifting equipment and causing potential manual handling risks. Fibrelite designed and manufactured bespoke composite trench covers to fit directly into the existing apertures, allowing easy, safe (authorised) manual removal and providing a safe walking surface.
Photo provided by Fibrelite
The latest version of VERICUT machine simulation, verification and optimisation software, V8.1, will be featured on CGTech’s stand at the MACH 2018 manufacturing trade show in Birmingham, UK, on 9-13 April.
The UK's Engineering Industries Association (EIA) and the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) have received confirmation of government funding for UK engineering companies to exhibit at overseas trade shows.
At the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA)'s third annual Infrastructure Day on 6-7 February 2018 34 ACMA members joined together to meet with over 100 Members of Congress and their staffs to advance legislation to drive investment in innovative material solutions for transportation, water and energy infrastructure.