Composite Material Design for Rail Vehicle Innovative Lightweight Components
Pucillo, Giovanni Pio
This paper describes the redesign activities of lightweight rail vehicle component using advanced composite materials. The activities have been carried out in the framework of the SCILLA-M National Project funded by Ministry of Research in collaboration with AnsaldoBreda. By exploiting the lightweighting and design integration benefits of composites, an innovative solution has been developed, which provides significant savings in mass, cost and part count compared to conventional designs. Several solutions have been evaluated among those reported in literature and related to the several transport systems. On the basis of the information acquired composite structure seems to be the ideal candidate for the design of lightweighting railway components. The current metallic design has been compared with the new proposed solutions in terms of weight saving, stiffness and strength. An innovative flatwise composite panel solution, which has been selected among those analyzed, seems to be applicable for the structural optimization of the railway vehicle carbody roof. The study underlines that the sandwich structure made of composite materials and polyurethane foam confirms to give good results in terms of weight and flexural stiffness. Consequently, the proposed sandwich structure can be adopted in the design of an innovative railway vehicle carbody roof.