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Problem-Solver in Rail Transport: ContiTech Concertina Wall Materials and Air Actuators

Concertina

  • Robust concertina wall materials withstand rail vehicle mechanical stresses longer
  • Translucent concertina walls illuminate vehicle interiors
  • Air actuators for pantographs ensure contact pressure during current transfer

With its air spring systems for bogies, ContiTech is one of the world’s leading suppliers to the rail industry. Its product line also includes concertina wall materials that connect rail cars and air actuators for current collectors, also known as pantographs.

Concertina wall materials hold up even in continuous use

ContiTech’s concertina wall materials are a big success in rail transport. For instance, they are used in high-speed trains, as well as metro trains, in China.

"The demands on concertina wall materials are high," says Rodrigo Maia, head of the engineered coated systems at ContiTech Elastomer Coatings.

"As a flexible transition system between individual cars, they are constantly moving and have to withstand stone impacts, UV rays, rain and snow. Our concertina wall materials meet these challenges even in long-term use."

In line with customer needs, ContiTech also offers special air actuator materials made of various elastomers, such as CSM rubber and silicone. The patented silicone air actuator material stands out due to its high fire resistance and meets the requirements of fire protection standard CEN/TS 45545 for smoke gas density and toxicity.

In addition to traditional designs, ContiTech is presenting a translucent version that has already been used successfully in buses. The composite material used, ContiVitroflex®, consists of synthetic rubber and glass fibre fabric. It does not only let light through, but increases brightness, thanks to special light refraction.

ContiTech will present other product highlights made of coated textiles, such as fuel tanks and transport cushions. The fuel tanks have proven themselves in logistics as flexible transport and collection containers for interim storage of fuels and other liquids. The transport containers can be unfolded quickly in loading areas and filled with fluid cargo. The transport protection cushions are filled with air for protecting fragile goods and securing the load against sliding during transport. They are flexible, wear-resistant and save space.

Air actuators: uniform contact pressure for better economy

ContiTech also has product solutions for electrically driven trains. In pantographs, air actuators save money by ensuring uniform contact pressure during current transfer. They are pneumatic drive components that generate the exact amount of pressure required to bring the conductor lines into contact with the overhead line. This allows power to be transmitted from the fixed overhead line, through the pantographs, to the electrical locomotives and rail cars.

Air actuators have major advantages compared to other technologies. Light, durable and easy to maintain, they withstand extreme weather conditions and are less sensitive to dirt and UV rays.

"Even in intensive use, air actuators for pantographs barely show any wear," says Verena Weiss, head of the industry division at ContiTech Air Spring Systems.

"In this way, they ensure safe current transfer and durable, economical solutions, because the number of expensive repairs is reduced."

For more information, please contact ContiTech.

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