Composites Evolution, Bercella and Element Materials Technology successfully completed the development and testing of a lightweight composite cantilevered support for rail passenger seating. Cantilevered seat supports, which are mounted on the wall of a train carriage, offer a number of advantages over conventional floor-mounted passenger seating, including improved access for floor cleaning and under-seat luggage storage.
The lightweight composite structure also provides benefits in terms of reduced train energy consumption and lower axle loads (less track damage). The component accommodates the mounting of two seats side-by-side. The seat support, which is 1 meter long but weighs less than 5 kg, passed a wide range of tests performed by Element. The evaluation included static loadings, fatigue cycles and fire testing to EN 45545 according to the requirements of Bercella’s customers. With respect to fire performance, the seat support met the most stringent requirement, Hazard Level (HL) 3, of EN 45545. It was manufactured by Bercella using Composites Evolution’s Evopreg PFC prepreg with a high-strength carbon fibre reinforcement.
> Lightweight – the two-seat support weighs less than 5 kg
> Fire-resistant – meets Hazard Level (HL) 3 of rail fire standard EN45545
> Wall-mounted (cantilevered) for easy access to carriage floors
> Eco-friendly – PFA resin is water-based and 100% bio-derived
> Low toxicity – no hazardous volatile organic compounds
Seat support under test
Evopreg PFC was specified for this application because of its excellent fire performance, low toxicity and outstanding environmental credentials. The base polyfurfuryl alcohol resin is 100% bio-derived, thereby providing a safer and more sustainable alternative to traditional phenolics for equivalent cost and performance. Producing composites that are both structural and highly fire-resistant is often challenging. In this application, Composites Evolution’s bioresin prepreg enabled Bercella to offer its customers the best of both worlds.
Companies: Composites Evolution
Industries: Railway Vehicles & Infrastructure