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Silicone Engineering > Blog > Where is silicone used in Trains?

Where is silicone used in Trains?

When railway vehicles are designed and constructed, the safety for passengers and staff is the top priority. Safety levels have been increased continually over the years and today all materials used must fulfil the highest fire protection and passenger safety requirements. Silicone Engineering has long manufactured both solid silicone and sponge/foam silicones that are used frequently in the railway industry. Silicone parts are produced in varied formats from sheets, flexible profiles and fabric constructions to moulded parts. In this blog we will explore popular areas silicone is used in both internal and external applications within train construction.

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Wall and ceiling insulation

Silicone sponge provides a closed cell insulation material with a high resistance to compression set, low thermal conductivity and strong resistance to water vapour diffusion protection against moisture penetration ensuring a dependable long-term protection against energy losses.

Within this application, silicone sponge is also excellent at stopping the proliferation of smoke when used to fill spaces in between ceiling spaces and compartments.

HVAC seals & gaskets

HVAC systems within rail carriages are designed to withstand heat fluctuations and varying degrees of vibration. kSil™V-0 has been specially formulated to withstand extreme temperatures from -60°C to 230°C whilst sealing to IP67. The high flexibility of the material also allows simple installation on even the most complex shaped HVAC fittings and equipment, protecting pipes against energy loss and condensation.

On air-ducts and refrigerant pipework, extruded silicone sponge tubes can make an important contribution to the high level of fire safety required in rail vehicles. The closed cell insulation material is armed with, flame retardant properties compliant to UL94 V-0 and low smoke, low toxicity rail standards EN 45545-2 (HL2 and HL3).

Exterior light seals

Silicone can provide high-performance gaskets for LED lighting in exterior components, available in both solid and sponge custom formats that include, profiles, tubing, cords and sections for specific sealing designs.

Silicone has excellent weathering properties from UV, Ozone and general weathering such as rain, wind, hail and frost. The seal will maintain its sealing properties in all conditions.

Vibration dampening

One issue that is particularly relevant to the rail industry is vibration.  Our kSil™V-0 material in both sponge and solid provide excellent vibration, shock and acoustic dampening properties for rail flooring systems.

Due to its compact, closed-cell structure, kSil™V-0 effectively absorbs vibration and provides protection to train flooring systems and underground applications where vibration levels peak. As well as silicone being very flexible, silicones’ molecular structure also helps defer harmful vibrations away from critical electrical systems and fittings.

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LED display seals

LED lighting seals need to be protected from a range of elements from dust, moisture to high temperatures. kSil™V-0 is formulated to protect from all of the mentioned elements that would be common to a mass-transit vehicle. Its closed cell structure prevents water, dust and moisture ingress to IP67, ensuring a water tight seal.

Interior door seals

Silicone sponge and solid parts are ideal for interior door seals due to the flexible nature of the material. A great advantage of the synthetic rubber, which becomes particularly apparent in the tight installation situations involved with mass transit vehicle construction.

Seat cushioning

Our low-density silicone sponge can be used in seat/cushioning applications, the lightweight material offers great comfort and excellent recovery from extensive use.

Our technical knowledge ensures that our products meet the current requirements for both mechanical performance and consumer safety.

Electrical enclosure gasket

Silicone seals and gaskets in solid or sponge form are perfect for enclosures that house vital equipment that include communications, UPS/battery backup, PA and CCTV, level crossing, security and CIS.

Silicone Engineering’s expertise in silicone manufacture and design ensures the silicone seals used in this application achieve IP ratings of 66 and 67. The high-performance sealing provides ensures critical systems are kept completely sealed to perform at their optimum level.

 

About the author

David Colgate
 

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