Composites are key components of lightweighting in the transportation field but they also bring multiple other benefits to the equation according to Mark Woodruff, Regional Director, APAC & India, at Gurit (Asia Pacific) Limited. Woodruff was speaking at a conference in Singapore held in conjunction with the JEC Asia show last November.
For a start, says Woodruff, "The consumer often has choice when it comes to what mode of transportation they can use so any composite solution should offer comfort." Another advantage is that composite surfaces are often easier to clean compared with competing materials. And the inherent safety that composites offer in terms of structural strength and fire, smoke and toxicity (FST) performance are also plusses," he notes. Further, "composites often offer a higher degree of design freedom."
Another often-overlooked advantage of composites is because they slash weight, mass transit system rolling stock can accelerate faster and brake over shorter distances, thus resulting in lower operational costs.