Rail passenger seating support created from fire resistant bio-based prepreg

Composite Evolution’s Evopreg bio-derived prepreg used to created composite cantilever for lightweight train seating support.

Composites Evolution (Chesterfield, UK), Bercella (Varano de’ Melegari, Italy) and Element Materials Technology (Aberdeen, UK) have announced the successful completion of the development and testing of a composite cantilever support for rail passenger seating.

The component, which is 1m long but weighs less than 5 kg, passed a wide range of tests performed by Element. The evaluation included static loadings, fatigue cycles and fire testing to EN 45545 according to the requirements of Bercella’s customers.

Cantilever seat supports, which are mounted on the wall of a train carriage rather than the floor, offer a number of advantages including improved access for cleaning and luggage storage. The lightweight composite structure also is said to provide advantages in terms of reduced train energy consumption and lower axle loads.

The seat support was manufactured by Bercella using Composites Evolution’s Evopreg PFC prepreg with a high strength carbon fiber reinforcement. Evopreg PFC was specified for this application because of its good fire performance, low toxicity and good environmental credentials – the base polyfurfuryl alcohol resin is 100% bio-derived. Evopreg PFC is one of the first prepregs to be manufactured on Composites Evolution’s new prepreg line that was installed in July 2018.