Posted on 06/07/2020 in Transport Fire Safety 2020
Bio-based resin prepreg offers rail innovations

Composites Evolution has developed a bio-based resin prepreg (PFC502) which meets the most stringent fire hazard requirement (H3) of the EU railway standard EN45545-2. The resin is based on polyfurfuryl alcohol, derived from agricultural waste biomass. It is thermosetting, and offers lower toxicity and lower VOC emissions than phenolic resins, as well as temperature and chemical resistance, and can be processed by vacuum bagging, press moulding or autoclave. It is flame retarded using non-halogenated (PIN) flame retardants. Both glass- and carbon-fibre reinforced resin laminates were tested to ISO 5660-1, EN 5658-2 lateral flame spread and EN ISO 5659-2 smoke density and toxicity. A rail carriage door leaf using the prepreg and developed by TRB Lightweight Structures has won the Composites Industry UK Environmental / Sustainability Award 2018. Carbon fibre reinforced bio-resin facings are used with a recycled polymer foam core, achieving a more than one third weight saving compared to an aluminium train door (enabling energy savings and faster door closing), at comparable cost. Composites Evolution is a UK-based developer, manufacturer and supplier of prepregs and natural fibre reinforcements for lightweight composite structures

“Award-winning train door features Composites Evolution’s bio-resin prepreg”, 1/4/2019 and “Bioresin prepreg meets the most stringent HL3 requirements of rail fire standard EN45545-2”, 5/2/2019

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