Penso British Engineering

Lightweight Composite Rail Door

The Challenge

To manufacture a composite door leaf assembly that looks to build on existing performance by improving reliability and maintenance and delivering substantial mass savings per door leaf.

The Penso approach

Penso initially developed a 3D CAD model in Catia V5 based on GOM scan data obtained from carriages in the depot, which involved the integration of existing tube line paper drawings with a complete teardown of a door leaf assembly.

The company then manufactured composite solution test coupons, which successfully passed fire, smoke and toxicity testing to meet stringent  BS6853 Category 1A requirements.

Finally, Penso performed detailed CAE analysis of the current aluminium door to establish baseline targets for the composite door design.

The Results

Penso’s engineers have come up with a new groundbreaking solution that utilises a phenolic composite material in its construction.

This maintains and improves on the performance of existing materials used in the manufacture of the doors, as well as offering an 11.3kg mass saving…well above the agreed target of 5kg.

Lighter rolling stock also means there will be less wear on the track, which is important when managing on-going maintenance and expected increases in the number of journeys being made.


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