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China's growing rail industry turns to plastics for better trains

By: EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

June 3, 2014

Bayer MaterialScience and China South Railway Nanjing Puzhen have joined together to create a new interior design for low-floor trams based on Bayer’s lightweight Bayblend and Makrolon polycarbonate sheets.

China South Railway is China’s largest public transit vehicle manufacturer and operates both China’s largest manufacturing base for electric locomotives and the world’s largest bullet train manufacturing base.

The Makrolon PC sheets will be used for interior wall paneling in low-floor trams for the new Metro Line 1 in the Suzhou New District trains in Jiangsu province.

Mass transportation represents a major component of traffic management in major cities, and railway operators are seeking lighter weight materials that allow them to reduce energy consumption while still being safe for users, Bayer noted in a May 30 news release.

“The mass transportation market is of great interest to Bayer and the company has committed significant resources to improving mass transportation applications,” said Joachim Simon, global head of mobility marketing in Bayer’s polycarbonates business group in a statement.

Bayer says its thermoplastic sheets are produced through processes that minimize emissions and environmental impact, and use modern extrusion technologies that allow processes to create high-quality, lightweight, and yet still durable interior rail components.