The world's first carbon-fibre composite rail bogie has been unveiled to help reduce energy consumption

- Dec 13, 2019-

The CAFIBO track bogies are made from recycled and surplus carbon fiber, developed by ELG carbon fiber and partners.

Source | ELG carbon fiber

The world's first carbon-fibre composite rail bogie has been unveiled to help reduce energy consumption

On December 10th the world's first carbon-fibre rail bogies, known as CAFIBO, were unveiled by ELG Carbon Fibre (UK) and the University of Huddersfield's Institute for Railway Research.

Made entirely of surplus and recycled carbon fibre material, the bog was demonstrated to more than 100 industry representatives at the railway industries association (RIA) unlock innovation event at the university of huddersfield.

The new CAFIBO bogies are reportedly lighter than conventional bogies and have optimized vertical and transverse stiffness.

The bogie will:

Reducing track wear and infrastructure maintenance costs by reducing vertical and horizontal loads on the tracks,

Improve reliability and operational availability through embedded health monitoring systems, as well

Reduce energy consumption, thereby reducing the global warming footprint.

The bogie is part of a two-year program provided by ELG Carbon Fibre, Magma Structures (Portsmouth, UK), the university of Birmingham and the university of huddersfield, with additional support from alstom (London, UK).

Over the next few months, the bogey will be tested at the university of huddersfield's state-of-the-art test mill, called the huddersfield adhesion and rolling contact laboratory dynamics facility, or HAROLD.

Frazer Barnes, managing director of ELG Carbon Fibre, said: "the world's first manufacturer of railway bogies using recycled Carbon Fibre instead of steel, so it's a very exciting and rewarding project to be involved in."

"We hope to make recycled carbon not only an attractive option for the rail industry in terms of weight reduction, but also to eliminate waste and reduce costs."

Simon Iwnicki, director of the railway research institute at the university of huddersfield, said: "the potential benefits of using novel materials and construction methods in railway bogies are huge."

"Reducing mass can save energy, but it can also reduce track force and improve dynamic performance.

I hope the tests on the CAFIBO bogies in huddersfield will help encourage the rail industry to embrace these new technologies."