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Aerospace materials open rail door awards to the NCC

News International-French

11 Mar 2015

JEC Europe 2015 - A Transport for London (TfL) project supported by the National Composites Centre (NCC) is winning Rail Innovation Awards.

A consortium, led by TfL, based the redesign on the existing Central line tube train door for a TSB funding call: Accelerating Innovation in Rail. The team also comprised Atkins, Wabtec & UCL. The job included the selection & testing of an appropriate composite material that could withstand the most stringent of fire regulations imposed in the underground environment. The current metallic door structure also required remodelling using finite element analysis (FEA). The novel lightweight thermoplastic door, manufactured at the NCC, was tested to validate the FEA model, then tested to the exacting fire and mechanical performance standards required.

Unique features:

  • PEI Glass thermoplastic skins and internal structure
  • Lightweight thermoplastic-based glazing
  • Approximately ½ the weight of the existing metallic structure

Potential implications for in-service use:

  • Reduced door closing time, Reduced wait at stations & journey times
  • Increased capacity
  • Decreased track wear, Decreased running costs

Why thermoplastics?

  • Robust, high resistance to impact, relatively low material costs
  • Recyclable, low mechanical property loss
  • Potentially high cycle times for High Volume Manufacture

Booth C67