Beakbane at InnoTrans - Protective Rail Innovations
Beakbane showcased their expanding capabilities in impact-resistant composite panels, at the world’s leading transport exhibition, Innotrans, which toke place in Berlin last month. The panels are used in the rail industry to protect vital equipment and enhance safety.
Beakbane can produce tailor-made composite panels for any application where light weight needs to be combined with durability and impact resistance. Metal components such as reinforcement frames and mounting brackets can also be moulded into a panel, and with its in-house design and manufacturing facilities, Beakbane provides a complete service from concept to finished panel.
Typical rail industry applications include stone guards for engines, fuel tanks and sensors, protective safeguards for the driver’s compartment, lightweight inspection panels and streamlined fairings.
The high-strength, fire-resistant, thermosetting material used by Beakbane gives excellent impact resistance and the composite panels are much lighter than fabricated metal alternatives. They are also ideal for structural and load-bearing applications – so protection can be provided where it is needed without incurring a significant weight penalty.
Existing metal guards can be re-engineered using composites to make them stronger, reduce the number of components and reduce weight. Parts can be easily moulded into three-dimensional forms and tooling is relatively inexpensive, so composite panels are an attractive option for low-volume retrofit and maintenance applications.
For one customer, Beakbane replaced a five-piece fabricated metal engine guard with a one-piece composite guard. It took five people to lift the old guards but the composite version is light enough to be lifted by one person. It can be fitted in minutes instead of hours and also improves fuel efficiency.
As well as composite panels, Beakbane also supplies the rail industry with bespoke bellows and flexible connectors for use on, for example, brake actuators, traction units, pantograph arms, HVAC connectors and air intakes on high-speed trains.
Beakbane’s capabilities cover a wide range of materials and manufacturing technologies. In addition to moulded composites and bellows, it also offers cut, sewn and welded fabrics as well as metal fabrications – and can choose from and combine these technologies to provide the right component for any application.