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Mixed-Material ‘Floating Floor’ for More Comfortable Rail Cars

Sapa - floating floor for rail

Sapa and Getzner Werkstoffe have developed a lightweight “floating floor” concept designed to help make passenger train travelers more comfortable on their journeys — which the companies are now making available to the rail market. The joint development has resulted in thin-walled floating floors with maximum noise level reduction and vibration mitigation for passenger trains. Sapa’s extrusions provide the elastic bearing in the floor construction, and the polyurethane core Sylomer® from Getzner prevents vibration transfer from the car body within the rail car cabin, resulting in lower noise level within rail cars.

“The rail market is using more aluminium in more applications. This shows we are thinking outside the box in combining two stand-alone products to create an innovative product solution that reduces weight and increases passenger comfort. It is a solution that provides real value,” says executive vice president John Thuestad, who is responsible for Sapa’s aluminium extrusion operations in Europe.

In high-speed train car bodies, aluminium offers light weight, strength, and a uniform and smooth surface. There are no “waves” in the metal, as with steel, meaning less finishing work after assembly. Furthermore, assembly in modular fashion is more cost effective than the assembly of many smaller and heavier components. Applications include train sideboards, roof, cant rails and floor panels.

The floating floor uses specially constructed aluminium profiles around the Sylomer core. This construction allows the top flooring to move around without direct connection to the base part of the profile – the only connection between the two main parts of the construction is the compound core. The use of aluminum profiles enabled Sapa to develop a design to specifically suit the rail industry’s needs, resulting in a thinner walled floor, while also providing ease of assembly, leading to reduced processing time. The new floors also meet fire safety standards and are crash safe.

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