New Adapter Coupler Provides Almost 50% Weight Savings

Voith Turbo Scharfenberg, TU Chemnitz and the manufacturer of fibre compound components, East-4D, have, in close cooperation, developed a new adapter coupler for rail vehicles. The coupler is made from carbon fibre Komposit (CFK), titanium and aluminium, and provides weight savings of almost 50%.

Adapter couplers are used between broken-down mainline rail vehicles and towing locomotives. They are also used for shunting in railway stations. The service personnel normally mount them manually to the train, often for very short periods only. For this reason, the couplers should weigh as little as possible, but still provide high operating loads.

Until recently, these couplers were made from steel. In order to save weight, Voith Turbo Scharfenberg is now relying on materials such as CFK, titanium and aluminium. The prototype of the new adapter coupler has already passed initial load tests on a special test stand. Series production will start in the middle of 2011.

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