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Recycled Carbon Fiber Helps in Weight & Stiffness Optimization of Rail Vehicle

Published on 2017-03-13. Author : SpecialChem

New Rail vehicle project, for which the UK’s RSSB has awarded a grant of £1.25M, aims to both reduce weight and optimize vertical and transverse stiffness in order to decrease vehicle operating costs, infrastructure damage and environmental impact.

Recycled Carbon Fiber for Rail Vehicle
Recycled Carbon Fiber for Rail Vehicle

The two-year program will be delivered by a consortium of companies comprising CCT, the University of Birmingham, the University of Huddersfield, with additional support from Alstom.

Recycled Carbon Fibers for Rail Vehicle


As well as managing the project and providing recycled carbon fiber materials, ELG Carbon Fibre will be responsible for delivering the multi-material design in which recycled carbon fibers are expected to feature prominently in order to meet cost and performance targets.

Benefits That the Project Aims to Deliver


  • Reduction of track wear and hence infrastructure maintenance costs by reducing vertical and transverse loads on the rails
  • Improved reliability and operational availability through the use of an embedded health monitoring system
  • Reduction in energy consumption and global warming footprint

Phases of Project


  • Phase 1 of the project will see the consortium develop an optimized design and work with the appropriate bodies to address the regulatory framework for primary composite structures in rail applications. 
  • Phase 2 of the project envisages the manufacture and testing of a number of full scale demonstrators under representative service conditions using the dynamic test rig at the University of Huddersfield. 

The embedded health monitoring system being developed by the School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham will be demonstrated through these tests.

The research program is expected to conclude in Q4 of 2018.

About ELG Carbon Fibre


ELG Carbon Fibre operates one of the world’s largest carbon fiber recovery plants in Coseley, West Midlands, in the UK. Whilst the company continues to optimize the patented carbon fiber reclaiming process, the primary focus of the company is to develop and industrialize the conversion technologies to manufacture recycled carbon fiber products that can be reintroduced to the composites and compounding industries.

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Source: ELG Carbon Fibre
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