The Eurecat technology centre is coordinating the CARBODIN (Car Body Shells, Doors and Interiors) project which is to support building lighter and more energy-sustainable passenger trains by developing innovative modular tooling for manufacturing car bodies and carriage shells using composite materials.

As part of the project “innovative and versatile moulds and tooling are to be designed and developed which will lead to a new generation of body shells using composite materials to achieve significantly lighter vehicles,” says María Eugenia Rodríguez, director of Eurecat’s Composite Materials Unit. This means they will be able to carry “more passengers within the same axle load limits, use less energy and have a smaller impact on railway infrastructure.”

Here “a key step is smart design in which various mould manufacturing technologies are combined to allow us to generate tooling for forming composites efficiently, thus shortening manufacturing time and at a competitive cost,” she says.

Other steps planned in the project “are designing the interior floor of the train and developing a configurator for the interior using virtual reality and printed electrical circuits to cut weight,” adds Laia Garriga, head of Rail Business Development and Logistics at Eurecat.

Garriga explains that they are working on a new concept for innovative doors to “shape new lightweight composite structures to improve energy usage, noise and thermal transmission and to include enhanced access for people with reduced mobility.”

New modular concepts for train interiors are also being developed that “will allow operators to match the vehicle layout to the actual conditions of use and will improve passenger flows, thereby optimising both vehicle capacity and dwell times,” she adds.

Eurecat’s Composite Materials Unit is leading the project while its Advanced Manufacturing Systems, Product Development, Functional Printing and Embedded Devices, Audiovisual Technologies, Big Data & Data Science and Consultancy Units are involved in all its aspects.

CARBODIN has been chosen in the European Shift2Rail call, the initiative for advanced research projects and solutions for European rail transport under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, and has €3.3 million in funding.

The CARBODIN consortium is made up of 14 partners from seven European countries: Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, France, Poland and the Czech Republic. Together with Eurecat, the other partners are the firms MASATS, Composites Aragón, CADM-Automotive Group, SMT, CG Rail and VUZ; the research centres EURNEX, EKETA and AIMEN; the universities RWTH Aachen University, Sapienza Università di Roma and Université Polytechnique HAUTS-DE-FRANCE, and the UIC railway association.

In-Move by RailGrup Multimodal Mobility and Logistics Cluster and ERCI European Railway Clusters Initiative are supporting the project to advertise its results.

Eurecat is also to work on a second project led by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) featuring €2.9 million in funding and a 30-month completion period.

Eurecat is at Rail Live!, the leading railway industry exhibition in Spain

Laia Garriga, Eurecat’s Head of Rail Business Development and Logistics, is attending the RAIL VISIONARY 2021 AWARDS sponsored by IN-MOVE by RailGrup, Mafex and Terrapinn and with the support of RENFE and Eurecat at the Rail Live! exhibition.