Norway’s Sapa AS and Austria’s Getzner Werkstoffe GmbH announced the development of a “floating floor” for passenger trains. The floor is designed to increase rider comfort and will be marketed for sale in the near future.
The product in question is a thin-walled floating floor that reduces noise and vibration. Sapa contributes the elastic bearing and the floor construction, while Getzner produces the proprietary polyurethane core Sylomer, which deadens the vibrations from the outside of the car.
“The rail market is using more aluminium in more applications,” explained Sapa’s executive vice president John Thuestad, who is responsible for Sapa’s European aluminium extrusion operations. “This shows we are thinking outside the box in combining two stand-alone products to create an innovative product solution that reduces weight and increases passenger comfort. It is a solution that provides real value.”
According to the press release, the floating floor employs specially-constructed aluminium profiles assembled around the polyurethane core. This design allows the flooring to move independently of the base, connected by only the Sylomer between.
The benefits and advantages of this new floating floor include an easily assembled aluminium profile that reduces construction time, a redesign of aluminium profiles to fit customers’ needs, a thinner-walled floor, a greater ability for manufacturers to compensate for the tolerances of passenger cars, lower noise levels inside cars, and is compliant with fire-safety standards and is crash safe.
Sapa goes on to explain that aluminium is an ideal material for use in rolling stock as it provides light weight, strength, and a uniform and smooth surface, free of the “waves” common in steel. Such waves require more finishing work be conducted to correct such uneven areas. In addition, modular construction lowers costs as well when compared to the now-current method of production of smaller and heavier individual components.