Thermoformable polymer blends for rail vehicles

Bayer MaterialScience supplies new sheets made of the flame-retardant Bayblend.

Plastics define the interiors of today’s modern rail vehicles, whether these are local trams or high speed trains. Bayer MaterialScience supplies sheets based on polycarbonate (PC) and acryl butadiene styrene (ABS) under the trade names Bayblend FR 3030 and Bayblend MTR. This opaque material is pleasant to the touch and is available in a lot of different colors. The thermoformable polymer blend can be processed cost-effectively even in small production runs for large components (seats, protective covers, ceiling and wall panels) and provides for maximum safety.

Both types of Bayblend fulfill the strictest requirements of UL 94. For the railway industry, the sheets are classified in accordance with S4/SR2/ST2 (DIN 5510-2) and comply with the strict French standards (M1/F2). Bayblend MTR also meets the U.S. standards for applications in trains – Docket 90 A/ASTM E 162 (radiation test for the fire behavior of floor coverings) and Docket 90 A/ASTM E 662 (smoke gas density).

If a fire should break out, the resulting combustion gases are only slightly corrosive. In terms of smoke gas density and toxicity, the materials satisfy the requirements of DIN 5510-2 Appendix C and even those of the aircraft industry in accordance with ABD 0031 and AITM 2.0007. This significantly reduces the risk of suffocation, the number one cause of death in fires.

Moreover, the very good data concerning impact and notched impact strength of both sheets remain stable over a wide temperature range. At 2,750 MPa (Bayblend® FR 3030) and 3,800 MPa (Bayblend MTR), the elasticity modulus is remarkably high for products with no glass fiber reinforcement. Should an accident occur, components made from these materials offer maximum protection due to their exceptional strength. Adding an outer layer of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) makes it practically impossible for inks and dyes to stick. Unwanted graffiti can simply be removed and lasting damage is effectively prevented. At the same time, the PVDF layer also provides good UV protection and prevents the polymer components from discoloring.

The polymer blends of Bayer MaterialScience also have much to offer from an ecological perspective. Containing less than 0.2 percent chlorine, bromine and iodine by weight and less than 0.1 percent fluorine by weight, they are classified as halogen-free (DIN/VDE 0472, part 815). They fulfill the conditions of numerous environmental labels such as the Blue Angel, the EU Flower eco-label and the Swedish TCO test label. In addition, they also comply with EU directives such as RoHS (Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment).

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