SABIC's new LEXAN polycarbonate sheets and resins enable railway coach manufacturers to meet the most stringent safety regulations while making production and operation of carriages significantly more cost and energy efficient.
High-performance LEXAN sheets and resins help railway interior designers and manufacturers create aesthetically pleasing components that are resistant to graffiti and vandalism, helping lower maintenance costs. The lightness of the materials also enables the overall fuel efficiency of mass transit systems to be improved.
"As global population and urbanisation increases, the demand for modern transit systems rises," says Kim Choate, director of mass transportation for SABIC's Innovative Plastics business. "Due to this, railway coach manufacturers are facing challenges, not only to comply with new regulations and deliver passenger safely and in comfort, but also to increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness of their operations.
"Our robust and compliant LEXAN sheet and resin products are a great way to address these problems and are an example of the specialised expertise that SABIC brings to its customers to help them meet rail industry requirements in order to achieve their design objectives and business goals."
SABIC expanded its LEXAN polycarbonate portfolio in response to the implementation of the pan-European norm for fire safety in rail interiors (EN 45545-2:2013). Following the recent development of LEXAN FST3403 resin, which meets the highest hazard level of the regulation for seating (R6-HL3), SABIC has now added LEXAN FST3002 resin to its portfolio, which meets R6-HL2 requirements.
It is a copolymer resin with high-flow capabilities, enabling customers to design and produce large components with consistent surfaces without marks, grainage, stains or flowlines, and its suitability for bases, back shells and side panels offers potential savings.
Additionally, the resin can be injection-moulded as an alternative to conventional thermosets or fibre-reinforced plastics, helping manufacturers increase efficiency compared with thermoset processing and, unlike thermoset components, moulded seats can be recycled at the end of their useful lives. SABIC currently has the broadest EN 45545-compliant thermoplastics portfolio in the rail industry.
The two new sheets - LEXAN KH6500 and KH6200 - meet the requirements of current German rail specification DIN 5510-2:2009, offering customers a more sustainable, non-chlorinated and non-brominated material option. Both sheets comply with France's NF F 31-112 anti-graffiti standard offering outstanding chemical resistance against graffiti and cleaning agents, providing a cost-efficient choice. LEXAN KH6500 sheets can be used to make seats, tables and carriage walls that are resistant even to repeated exposure to the strongest cleaning agents. It is also extremely stiff, giving it excellent impact performance. The sheet also complies with the US National Fire Protection Association fire safety norm NFPA 130 for passenger rail car walls and ceilings.
The third product, LEXAN KH6200 sheet, offers an attractive cost-benefit balance in less demanding applications, such as cladding. Its impact performance at low temperatures and thermoforming capabilities in very cold environments compared extremely favourably to those of standard polycarbonate materials.
Streamlined production and the avoidance of secondary operations, such as painting and coating, machining and polishing, enables LEXAN sheets to generate significantly lower system costs than metal, thermosets and glass. The LEXAN KH sheet series is an excellent choice to replace polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyester, vinylester or phenolic fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) materials used in many rail interior applications.
SABIC offers high performance, engineering thermoplastics product portfolio specifically designed for railway interiors that can meet railway interior standards and fire resistance regulations; may reduce overall system costs; and enhance the aesthetics, safety and comfort of the cabin environment.
For example, LEXAN F2000 sheet can be used to help achieve the rail's most challenging interior feature, a train ceiling complete with light diffusers. Suspended from a large structure, the ceiling can be created by using opaque and transparent grades of flame-retardant LEXAN polycarbonate sheet. Its lightweight structure provides passengers with a high-quality interior and comfortable journey. LEXAN F2000 sheet also offers ease of processing and excellent formability. LEXAN MARGARD MR5FR sheet can be an excellent candidate for the compartment partitions. MARGARD MR5FR sheet can be ordered in various transparent custom colors and comes with a hard coating on both sides that provides UV-, marring- and fire resistance.
SABIC recently expanded its portfolio of high-performance material solutions by adding two new LEXAN sheet products: LEXAN H6500 sheet, a new PC/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (PC/ABS) sheet grade that complies with the upcoming EN 45545 harmonized standard and LEXAN H6200 sheet, a new grade that complies with Germany's DIN norm. Both products have been engineered to help rail customers meet growing demand for enhanced sustainability and advanced thermoplastic technologies with non-chlorinated and non-brominated flame retardance that enhance the design and development of rail interior applications.
LEXAN H6500 sheet is an opaque, solid, low-gloss PC/ABS blend that delivers high stiffness for railway sidewalls, tables and seating. Its sustainable flame retardant performance meets the requirements of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive and it delivers non-chlorinated and non-brominated product technology. In addition to EN 45545 R6 (seating), LEXAN H6500 sheet complies with current European standards including the French NF F16-101 M1F1 norm (at 2-4 mm). The material can be thermoformed at a lower temperature than traditional PC materials. Its molded-in color capability can help avoid the cost and environmental hazards of secondary painting and provides excellent aesthetics.
LEXAN H6200 sheet, which complies with the German DIN 5510 norm: S3 SR2 ST2 at 3 mm and S4 SR2 ST2 at 4 mm, offers an attractive cost-benefit balance in less-demanding applications such as cladding. It delivers excellent impact performance at low temperatures (ductility down to -20C), good colorability and excellent thermoforming at lower temperatures than standard PC materials. To learn more visit www.sabic.com/sfs