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Germany’s ICE fleet trains use SMT’s new lightweight infused flooring to replace previously installed heavy wooden panels.
The fire resistant, structural composite sandwich brings weight savings, allowing new air conditioning, seating and entertainment system additions.
SMT, Forst, Germany, is the exclusive supplier to Deutshe Bahn AG, producing 25,000 m2 for the 66 train fleet comprising 8 carriages each. The company has developed streamlined infusion moulding techniques using reusable vacuum membranes. Alan Harper Composites, supplier of the reusable membranes, says SMT has found enormous advantage with the system for its simplicity and closed mould characteristics ideal for worker ease and safety. Workers are said to be able to gain great efficiency in moulding by the basic infusion process which provides clean extraction after infusion. Very little waste resin is evident and the cost and waste management savings over traditional consumable bagging are reported to be significant gains for the company.
SMT has worked closely with its supplier to assure quality and structural integrity of the new sandwich floor panelling. The company also has its own teams of installers taking delivery from production to fit out on each carriage refurbishment.
SMT’s new infused train carriage flooring panels replace much heavier wooden structures. Even though the fleet is already 15 years old the refurbished trains will now extend their service easily into 2030.
Image provided by Alan Harper Composites
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