Information published on 5 May 2020 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 690.

Spain: Advanced materials for the railway sector

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PTFE-FFE and MATERPLAT have produced this document as a tool for companies seeking alternatives and new solutions for a leadership position in the railway sector

The Advanced Materials and Nanomaterials Spanish Technological Platform, MATERPLAT, and the Spanish Railway Technology Platform, PTFE-FFE, have produced and presented the document “Advanced Materials for the Railway Sector” as a result of the collaboration between both platforms, with the aim of promoting the transfer of material research, knowledge and technology towards the railway, being potentially also transferable to other sectors.

It has been conceived as a tool for companies seeking alternatives and new solutions for a leadership position in the sector. This compilation of solution offers also incorporates the description of the technology development, the state of intellectual and industrial property, and the type of collaboration required, due to an open call to all PTFE entities that wish to echo from the pulse of innovation in new materials as well as trends and possible future applications. This is intended to be a document “alive in time” and designed for its internationalization, capable of incorporating new solutions, as well as updating and / or developing those presented here.

The use of new materials that even exceed the current requirements and needs of the railway sector, as well as the ever-increasing demand for sustainable solutions, directs research towards materials and multifunctional devices that are capable of offering innovative products and solutions that contribute to the competitiveness of the railway and the railway industry, reducing weights, costs and CO2 emissions, integrating quality and maintaining the required safety standards.

The catalogue “Advanced Materials for the Railway Sector” contains a series of solutions organized in four sections: Coatings, where the proposals are applied to the different surfaces of the rolling stock; in Structure, the solutions are aimed both at the performance of the rolling stock and at achieving smart surfaces; the proposals in the Energy block focus on materials capable of capturing and storing energy into transport structures; finally, Manufacturing includes new technologies, devices and simulations that are integrated into manufacturing itself and where, in addition, new qualities and forms of manufacturing emerge. The organization in sections obeys a better structure of the document.

However, it should be noted that some of the solutions and / or new technologies may belong to more than one section since, although they can be applied to a certain element, their objective is also to improve the results of additional elements.

The Spanish Railway Technology Platform, PTFE (technical secretariat developed by the Spanish Railways Foundation, FFE) created in 2006, is a tool at the service of the railway sector, led by the industry, in which all the Spanish Science-Technology-Innovation system agents interested in the railway work together and coordinate to identify and prioritize technological, research and innovation needs in the medium or long term. Its main objective is to achieve scientific and technological advances that ensure competitiveness, sustainability and the growth of the business fabric, aligning the strategies of the different agents and concentrating R&D&I efforts.

The Advanced Materials and Nanomaterials Spanish Technological Platform (MATERPLAT) was created in 2008 with the aim of promoting and promoting innovation in the National R&D&I system, as a key tool and instrument for improving and increasing the competitiveness of the collective of Spanish companies, for which materials and nanomaterials and their transformation processes are fundamental elements in the development and commercialization of their products and services.

(Source: FFE)