Drop-in polycarbonate grade solves flammability issue in train seat backs


A new Lexan FST3403 (flame-smoke-toxicity) polycarbonate (PC) copolymer from SABIC's Innovative Plastics business (Pittsfield, MA) is said to be the first thermoplastic solution for rail seating applications to meet the strictest fire safety requirements under the CEN/TS 45445 standard.

Now commercial a full two years before this European standard goes into effect, Lexan FST3403 copolymer—developed specifically for seat back shells and side covers—achieved the highest possible hazard level rating (HL3) under CEN/TS 45445-2 R5. In addition to its exceptional heat release, smoke density and toxicity performance, documented by independent laboratory testing, the Lexan FST copolymer delivers high flow properties for injection molding large parts with excellent aesthetics and impact strength.

The first company to use the new material is Grammer Railway Interior GmbH (Amberg, Germany), who was able to use its existing tooling, thus avoiding significant capital costs. "Developing our new first-class seating posed multiple challenges," said Lothar Winhard, General Managing Director, Grammer Railway Interior GmbH. "With our proactive approach in meeting the new fire-safety standard we also had to predict what our customers' needs would be when the standard goes into effect. This then raised concerns that we might have to invest significantly to reconfigure our injection molding machinery and change our design. But SABIC worked with us at every step, ultimately developing the Lexan FST resin as a drop-in material solution that could meet future customer demand, enhance our seating design and help us achieve our pre-standard goal."...
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