Carbon-fibre bogie unveiled
Posted on 13 Jan 2020 and read 1027 times
The world’s first carbon-fibre bogie (CAFIBO) — developed by West Midlands-based ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd in collaboration with Portsmouth-based Magma Structures, the University of Birmingham and the University of Huddersfield (with additional support from Alstom) — was unveiled last month at the Railway Industry Association’s Unlocking Innovation event.
Made entirely out of surplus and recycled carbon-fibre materials, it is lighter than conventional bogies and has been designed to: reduce track wear and infrastructure maintenance costs by reducing the vertical and transverse loads on the rails; improve reliability and operational availability through an embedded health-monitoring system; and reduce energy consumption.
Over the next few months, it will be tested on the University of Huddersfield’s ‘state of the art’ test rig.
ELG Carbon Fibre’s managing director, Frazer Barnes, said: “Replacing steel with recycled carbon fibre to produce a rail bogie is a world first, so it is a hugely exciting project to be part of.
“We hope to make recycled carbon an attractive option for the rail industry in terms of weight reduction, as well as eliminating waste and driving down cost.”
Professor Simon Iwnicki, director of the Institute of Railway Research at the University of Huddersfield (www.hud.ac.uk
), said: “There are significant potential benefits from adopting novel materials and construction methods in railway vehicle bogies.
"The reduction in mass results in energy savings, but it can also reduce track forces and improve dynamic performance.
“I hope that the tests on the CAFIBO bogie — to be carried out here at Huddersfield — will help to encourage the railway industry to accept these new techniques.”