Posted in | Composites

Phenolic Composite Prepregs Used in Electrostar Passenger Trains Hailed a Success

Phenolic prepreg from Advanced Composites Group Ltd. (ACG), a member of Umeco Composites Structural Materials (UCSM) - a division of Umeco plc, has been hailed a resounding success for standbacks manufactured by Ipeco Composites for Bombardier Transportation's Class 379 Electrostar EMU Passenger Trains, operated by National Express on their Stansted Airport rail link.

Bristol UK based Ipeco Composites recently manufactured 960 standbacks for Bombardier Transportation, UK using ACG's MTM82S-C phenolic prepreg which meets the requirements of BS6853 Cat.1a, the standard governing the fire performance of rail rolling stock.

Credit to Frank Richards.

Ipeco has a history of manufacturing phenolic prepreg structures for the aircraft industry and it was a natural progression for the company to extend its expertise to the railway industry. All units passed effortlessly through Bombardier Transportation's rigorous quality approval process with flying colours, a key factor being the superior dimensional tolerances prepreg moulding offers in comparison to wet layup processes. The autoclaved MTM82S-C standbacks were installed by Bombardier without rework, thus reducing onsite labour costs and so contributing to the quality and timely delivery of this fleet of trains.

National Express, Bombardier Transportation's client, will benefit from reduced in-service operation and maintenance costs brought about through a significant weight saving and the robust nature of prepreg composite parts. At only 6.4kg per unit, the standbacks provide a 40% reduction over a typical 10.5kg wet layup structure.

ACG's medium temperature moulding MTM82S-C is one of a range of controlled flow phenolic resin matrices exhibiting excellent fire, smoke and toxicity performance, and good mechanical properties. In addition to BS6853 Cat.1a, MTM82S-C is qualified to the following fire performance specifications: BS 467 Part 6 and 7, NF P 92-501 Rating M1, NF F 16-101 Rating F1 and DIN 5510 Rating S4, SR2, ST2.

MTM82S-C, suitable for both monolithic and sandwich structures, can be autoclaved, press moulded or oven/vacuum bag (Out-of-Autoclave [OoA]) processed, and can be supplied on a range of fabrics and fibres.

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