The last few difficult years put the brakes on rail transportation – reducing global passenger numbers by an average of 70%, according to the International Union of Railways – the industry finally started to bounce back in 2022. In the US, a significant milestone was the signing of the infrastructure deal into law on November 15th, 2022 by President Biden. Even with this turn in the right direction, trends like increased sustainability and staffing shortages, will create challenges for the industry. Luckily, Armacell has answers to help rail get back on track.
One rail industry trend that remains steady is the train’s environmental impact. Much of the industry’s sustainable progress can be attributed to electrification, but new hydrogen fuel-based trains are slowly peeking around the corner and 2023 could be the year this technology emerges. Either electric or new alternative fuel-based trains are a more environmentally friendly alternative to private road vehicles. However, customer experience demands like increased comfort, air conditioning, flexible seating, easily accessible lavatories, and CET tanks have made trains heavier and more expensive to operate. To maintain its environmental advantage, energy efficiency has to be improved – without compromising passenger safety and comfort. Armacell’s flexible equipment insulation and sustainable foam cores for lightweight construction can help meet this requirement by increasing overall energy efficiency while keeping riders comfortably safe. Our North American manufactured thermal and acoustic insulation products, aerogel blankets, and foam cores also optimize the weight-to-performance ratio to further ensure the safe and smooth operation.
With more than 50 years of experience in the railway industry, Armacell knows the industry standards and offers rail products, technology, and global support you can trust. All ArmaFlex® Rail products - made with integrated fire protection and smoke reduction - meet the strict requirements of the National Fire Protection Standard NFPA 130 (ASTM E 162 & ASTM E 662) and European fire protection standard EN 45545-2. EN 45545-2 is a seven-part European standard to minimize the risk of a fire starting and spreading on railway vehicles and its effect on passengers and employees. To achieve the highest possible level of safety in trains, both materials and components must meet fire, smoke, and toxicity requirements. Depending on where they are used, materials are assigned to the categories R1 to R26 (R = Requirement Set). The various operating and design classes provide the basis for hazard levels (HLs) which in turn define the requirements of the classification system. There are a total of three hazard levels (HL1 to HL3). HL3 is the highest level and thus makes the highest demands of the materials used. ArmaFlex Rail is the first closed-cell insulation to achieve the hazard levels HL2 and HL3, R1 and has an extremely low smoke density and superior fire resistant behavior.
In rolling stock, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment is the second largest energy consumer after the traction. Insulating this mechanical equipment with our closed-cell and highly flexible ArmaFlex Rail products is one of the most efficient measures to save energy and reduce operating costs in railway vehicles.
- Insulation of the vehicle
- HVAC systems
- Lavatory module, water tanks and pipes
- High resistance to water vapor transmission provides installations with reliable, long term protection against condensation and reduces risk of corrosion under insulation (CUI).
- Meets ASTM E662 and EN 45545, regarding low smoke density, and toxic gas emissions.
- Meets ASTM E162 and EN 45545, with reduced flame spread, ignitability minimization, heat release rate reduction, the elimination of flaming droplets and has innovative fire retardant properties.
- Microban technology offers protection against the development of bacteria, mildew, and mold contributing to improved indoor air quality.
- Reliable solution for rattle protection and vibration dampening.
- Also available as Halogen Free.