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23rd October 2018, Saerbeck

Composite solution for ICE train renovation

Lightweight glass fibre composite panels based on Saertex Leo non-crimp fabrics are replacing heavy plywood as a flooring solution for Germany’s ICE fast trains.

Version 4 of the ICE train was introduced in 2017, but there are still 66 Ice Version 3 trains – introduced in 2000 – in operation. The passenger wagons of these trains are now being renovated, with the introduction of passenger entertainment and air conditioning systems, but the additional weight of these additions has to be compensated by sophisticated lightweight solutions.

Deutsche Bahn’s ICE3. © Saertex

As a result, a lightweight flooring system has been created to keep extra weight to a minimum, and be in compliance with the new EN 45545-2 fire safety regulations that have come into force in 2018

The entire floor systems – with an average panel size of 2.4 x 1.200 metres – are being renewed with the Saertex Leo material system which has an integrated coating making it possible to manufacture all the sandwich panels in a vacuum infusion process using vinyl ester resin.

Importantly, the production process incorporates reusable silicon membrane technologies from the UK’s Alan Harper Composites resulting in an enhanced process with increased output, higher reproducibility and quality, with savings on material costs. The use of these composite materials inside the ICE3 trains has achieved the highest fire safety standards, 98% less flame progress, 57 times less smoke generation and 12 times higher tensile strength compared to other hand layup solutions that were in competition for the contract.

At the forthcoming JEC Asia in Seoul, South Korea, from November 14-16, Saertex will receive the JEC Railway Innovation Award for the development, which was realised in partnership with Forster System-Montage-Technik and Alan Harper Composites.

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