Wear-resistant products with EN 45545 conformity
Thorsten Mersch | 17. September 2019
There are a large number of standards in the railway industry. How much force is required to open a door by hand in an emergency? How should the welding seams look? The number of standards and regulations is seemingly endless.
Another very important point is fire protection in rail vehicles. The EN 45545 standard means even more work for the designer; more research, more documentation. Often a big annoyance, to have to deal with it, besides all the stress.
But if you have seen the pictures of the burning ICE 511 on the route between Cologne and Frankfurt in October 2018, you would be quite grateful that we have such strict rules.
In particular, we as a manufacturer of plastic parts and cables, and especially as a supplier for the railway industry, have to face the challenges imposed on us. While carpets or side panels are installed once and then have to withstand the strain of drunken bachelor party groups, plain bearings, energy chains and cables have significantly different requirements for service life.
Plain bearings in bogies, lead screw drives in sliding steps and chains and cables in automatic door systems. Function and service life are paramount. After national standards such as the German DIN 5510, the Polish PN-K-02511:2000 and the DT-PCI/5A in Spain were replaced by the EN45545, the latter has naturally gained enormously in importance.
Wear-resistant and compliant
For this reason, we are also trying to bring an EN 45545-compliant version onto the market for each product area. For plastics, we developed the iglidur RW370 several years ago. At first only in the form of plain bearings, but we quickly added bar stock as bar and plate form to our product line. Special profiles can also be extruded. The material meets Hazard Level 3 and has the requirement sets R22/R23. As with all igus materials, high wear resistance and a low coefficient of friction are guaranteed.
Brand new since April 2019, we have a 3D print filament also made of iglidur RW370, which has achieved hazard level 1.
Another polymer is our igumid GV0 GF. Also tested according to EN 45545 HL3 R22/R23, this material is used for our energy chains, bearing housings and customer-specific special parts.
And if we are already selling the chains, we also need the matching cables. With the CFSPECIAL.414.03. and CFSPECIAL.049.484 we have designed very special control and data cables. If you need cables for a moving application in an energy chain and conformity according to EN 45545 hazard level 3 and the requirement sets R15/R16, there is no way around igus.
As a designer, can/must I only use these products?
There is no clear answer to this question. Here it depends on the individual case. There are often reasons to choose a material or a product without appropriate conformity. Often it is the required service life that necessitates alternative products. This is because every product that wants to meet the fire protection standard needs certain additives such as fire retardants. These are not conducive to a longer service life. In doors, the installation space is often so narrow that the bend radius is reduced. Then our customers like to choose a cable from our CF98 series, which was developed for particularly small radii (dx4) in order to achieve the required cycles without problems.
If plastics are needed that have higher requirements for load, temperature and chemical resistance, there are enough alternatives in the iglidur segment. The keyword is “approval based on functional necessity”.
In the end, the question usually arises “Fire protection or longer service life”? To find the right product here, we are at your disposal.