We continue to introduce to you the subdivisions of Unitsky String Technologies Co. Rolling Stock Administration. From our fresh material, you will learn: what is the specific complexity of the selection of interior and exterior trim for SkyWay rolling stock, and how to make sure that an innovative vehicle resists both fire and absolute cold without harming passengers. Yevgeny Zhychko, Director, Design Bureau “Carbody” will talk about the most "material" aspect of creating Unitsky String Transport.
Yevgeny Zhychko, Director, Design bureau “Carbody”, Unitsky String Technologies Co.
We have conducted an analysis of the noise, identified which major frequencies we have in our transport and received three types of noise. The main noise comes from the pair “rail-wheel”, then from the equipment arranged in the engine compartment, and the third type of noise – aerodynamic.
As regards those noises that come from the pair “rail-wheel”, there are low-frequency noises in it and the aim is to untie the connection between the body and the wheel. This is mostly the work of the Chassis Department. They introduce vibration isolators, but where they do not cope, we begin to deal with noise with our materials. When we didn’t have such strict certification requirements, we used materials that are easily available on the Belarusian market. These are mainly materials from the automotive industry. That is, bituminous materials are used to protect against vibration and low-frequency noises, then, to protect against other external noises, there are some porous materials. If you pay attention, there is a bumpy surface here. It turns out that the sound wave is reflected and “extinguished” once again. These ragged layers are necessary to remove the squeak between the panels.
If we talk specifically about cars, everything is much easier with safety in them, because a car is an individual transport, usually with a capacity of 4-5 people and, in the event of a fire, it is quite easy to evacuate from it. You can stop at any time and run out of the car, therefore, the requirements for these materials are small – enough that they are not flammable, burning drops do not fall, and the main test for them is the so-called “cigarette test”. That is, when a cigarette butt drops, nothing should burst into flame.
The situation is much more complicated in the railway, because there is a large train, a lot of passengers and few doors. It takes longer to evacuate. In addition, evacuation may not be possible at all if we are talking about a tunnel or an overpass. Therefore, in Europe, the EN 45-545 safety standards are in force, which describe methods to test materials for fire safety in several parameters (burning rate, flammability, temperature and gas toxicity). When a material is tested, it receives several degrees of the so-called “Hazard level”: 1, 2 or 3. In this regard, we have studied the market, identified two main manufacturers (Celafom and Pyrotek) and selected their main materials.
There is such a material as TermoBRIK Akustik PLUS, but it has combined properties. It acts as both a thermal insulation and noise insulation. In addition, this aluminum coating reflects heat. If you look at it this way, it looks like our mini frame. Roughly speaking, here are the beams of the frame, and the rest is filled with this material.
Also, to extinguish higher noises that penetrate into the interior, we use either this kind of fibrous material, also with a reflective fire surface, or these porous materials. Again, as I said, the noise spectrum is different, so the manufacturer uses such “sandwiches” when the material consists of different components: light porous, then there is a bituminous plate and again light porous. That is, it covers a wider range of noise.
Vibration-absorbing materials. As I have already shown, we have a bituminous plate here. What is its main drawback? It is 3-mm thick, and we don’t need that much plastic. It turns out, there is excess weight. But we can buy a material, in which the base is applied in liquid form. Moreover, a single layer of 0.6-mm thickness is enough, and it will cope perfectly. If a fire occurs, this thin paint foams (up to about two millimeters) and holds down the fire for up to half an hour. We have already used this coating in our 431-th unicar, because the wall in it is plastic and the battery is too close to it. If it ignites, we’ll have extra layers of protection.
They even have plywood in the range of products. In terms of sound insulation, plywood is a good material, but its disadvantage is that it is very heavy. If you take a typical train or bus, they use plywood with a thickness of 16-20 mm for flooring, but since we are on the track, and the track is slim, this is not very good for us. In this regard, we started to use such “sandwich panels” in floor coverings (and in other large flat surfaces). At the same thickness, it is several times lighter than plywood and does not burn either.
In addition to the use of safe sound insulation materials, it is also necessary that the seat upholstery meets all standards. We have found an Italian seat manufacturer. What is our specific feature? Due to the fact that our transport is quite narrow, the seats should be sometimes either reclined or folded, but usually reclining seats are not very good in design. But after all, Italians are the trendsetters! That’s why we found their beautiful seats that meet all the standards.
We also use fiberglass for the production of large exterior panels (i.e., hoods, paneling...). The problem with large panels is that you either need to make reinforcing plates or add thickness to them, but we are struggling against extra weight. Therefore, we will use this material. This is a sample. We used to try it some time ago. This fabric is called Parabeam. Its point is that two layers of fabric are separated with vertical fibers that are impregnated with resin during molding, rise, and we get a ready-made “sandwich panel”, which practically does not weigh anything and is quite rigid. Do not pay attention to the fact that the sample is ugly. This is just an intermediate product. Our shapers were trained in how to handle this material. All experiments with it were successful and already now our production uses it as a reinforcement.
We are still working out our own technical specifications for fiberglass. We have started tests on its strength and fire safety, and based on the results of the tests, we will see if something needs to be corrected. In the future our fiberglass will be raised to EN-standards. Why didn’t we start doing it right away, and got engaged with technical specifications? Because the EN certification can reach up to €25.000 per process depending on the type of material to be tested. We started with compliance with our State Standards, and if we see by test results that the features match the EN, we will immediately submit an application and get certificates for the exterior panels of our own production.
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