Canadian Plastics

Co-Polyester Elastomer Dampens Load of Freight Trains

After an extensive study designed to tackle one of the railroad industry's toughest dilemmas, DSM Engineering Plastics' Arnitel copolyester elastomer has proven suitable for protecting railroad ties--an application that reveals the potential for i...

August 1, 2004   Canadian Plastics



After an extensive study designed to tackle one of the railroad industry’s toughest dilemmas, DSM Engineering Plastics’ Arnitel copolyester elastomer has proven suitable for protecting railroad ties–an application that reveals the potential for its use in a variety of industries and applications. The results of an innovative partnership between DSM and systems supplier Leading Edge will potentially extend the life of rail ties by as much as three times.

Rail lines have generally migrated from wooden ties to concrete ties, some equipped with thermoplastic urethane pads to absorb impact. “The downside of using TPU,” explains DSM Engineering Plastics’ business development engineer Mike Cummings, “is that though effective, the material was found to fail prematurely, requiring maintenance and replacement more often than was considered acceptable.”

Working with a concrete tie manufacturer and a rail company, Leading Edge was charged with developing prototypes for solving the premature failure of the existing pads. An intensive process of testing led to the specification of DSM’s Arnitel copolyester elastomer as a replacement for TPU.

“Arnitel reacts better under heavy repeated loadings,” said Cummings.

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According to DSM, Arnitel pads are estimated to last up to three times the life of TPU pads.

DSM Engineering Plastics

800-263-6895


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