Research at the University of Huddersfield could lead to new generations of railway vehicles with carbon fibre frames and key components made using the latest 3D printing technology.
The investigation of novel materials and manufacturing processes is being carried out by the University's Institute for Railway Research, which has been awarded funding of almost £300,000 as part of an EU-backed project to develop lighter, more reliable, more comfortable and quieter rolling stock.
"We hope that the result will be a step change in the running gear of rail vehicles," said the IRR's Director, Professor Simon Iwnicki. The aim is to explore the potential - and any shortcomings - of new materials. The benefits would include reduction in the weight of bogies, simpler designs and reduced life cycle costs.
RUN2RAIL is the overall title of the new project. It is an element of the EU's multi-faceted Shift2Rail programme, which fosters research and innovation in European railways. The total funding allotted to RUN2RAIL is 2,732,000 euros, and it has four work packages, shared by leading engineering companies and universities throughout Europe.
The Huddersfield Institute is participating in three of the packages, and is the lead institution for the project to investigate optimised materials for running gear. It will work with the Politecnico di Milano, consultants RINA and the Italian engineering and design company Blue Group.
26 January 2018