Recycled Carbon Fibres Used in Novel Rail Vehicle Project

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Recycled Carbon Fibres Used in Novel Rail Vehicle Project

The project, for which the UK’s RSSB has awarded a grant of £1.25M, aims to both reduce weight and optimise vertical and transverse stiffness in order to decrease vehicle operating costs, infrastructure damage and environmental impact.  The two-year programme will be delivered by a consortium of companies comprising CCT, the University of Birmingham, the University of Huddersfield, with additional support from Alstom.

As well as managing the project and providing recycled carbon fibre materials, ELG Carbon Fibre will be responsible for delivering the multi-material design in which recycled carbon fibres are expected to feature prominently in order to meet cost and performance targets.

Benefits that the project aims to deliver include:

  • Reduction of track wear and hence infrastructure maintenance costs by reducing vertical and transverse loads on the rails
  • Improved reliability and operational availability through the use of an embedded health monitoring system
  • Reduction in energy consumption and global warming footprint

Phase 1 of the project will see the consortium develop an optimised design and work with the appropriate bodies to address the regulatory framework for primary composite structures in rail applications. Phase 2 of the project envisages the manufacture and testing of a number of full scale demonstrators under representative service conditions using the dynamic test rig at the University of Huddersfield. The embedded health monitoring system being developed by the School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham will be demonstrated through these tests.

The research programme is expected to conclude in Q4 of 2018.

- Image courtesy of University of Huddersfield
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