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The European MAT4RAIL project aims to reduce the weight of railways by replacing metallic structural components with Fibre-Reinforced Polymers.
The European MAT4RAIL project aims to reduce the weight of railways by replacing metallic structural components with Fibre-Reinforced Polymers.

AIMPLAS, a Spain-based plastics technology centre, recently announced to take part in the European MAT4RAIL project, which aims to reduce the weight of railways by replacing metallic structural components with Fibre-Reinforced Polymers (FRPs), as well as increase the vehicle’s capacity and the passenger comfort by means of the smart modular design of interior space.

Started in October 2017, the project has already achieved the development of new epoxy-resin formulations with improved flame-retardant properties to be applied in FRPs. Mat4Rail will last for two years and is coordinated by CIDETEC (Spain).

With the implementation of this project, it is expected to improve the railway infrastructure regarding costs, functioning, reliance and timeliness, increase of the capacity and energy efficiency, as well as the reduction of costs of the life cycle.

For that purpose, innovative materials and a modular design for railway rolling stock are going to be developed. A weight reduction of trains is going to be performed by replacing metal parts by FRPs with certified mechanical and fire performance.

In addition, the project has involved 15 research institutes, SME, large companies and one university from seven European countries and received funds from the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU), one of the public-private partnerships within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme.

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