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COMPOSITE RAIL ENGINE CAB STRUCTURE - METHOD OF MANUFACTURING

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000226373D
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 540K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This publication concerns methods of constructing cab structures for locomotives out of composite materials. In a first method the frame of the cab is assembled using fiber preforms on a special mold tool and then fabric preform cab top is placed on it. The whole set up is vacuum bagged for vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) and co-cured. In a second method vertical post type members that comprise pultruded rods/beams using bonded insert bolted joints can be pre-formed and joined to the cab top. In a third method, the structure is made of pultruded rods/beam structure with composite panels fitted thereto by bolted, riveted or hinged joints. The methods illustrated enable manufacture of composite rail cab with excellent structural performance and up to 40% weight savings over existing alternatives.

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COMPOSITE RAIL ENGINE CAB STRUCTURE - METHOD OF MANUFACTURING

BACKGROUND

This publication concerns methods of constructing cab structures for locomotives out of composite materials. In transportation systems weight savings are important because of the implications on energy economy. The original rail locomotives are very heavy and there is a demand for lightweight locomotives from specific market segments in the world. In that context, reducing weight of the locomotive has become a major design issue. As part of this initiative, we are proposing that the locomotive cabs (engine cab, aux cab etc) be made of lightweight fiber reinforced composite structures instead of the current steel ones. Designs to save weight in railway boxcars or cab structures have been proposed using composite structures, such as in US4292898 and US5857414. This publication illustrates cost-effective techniques of manufacture of composite rail cab with excellent structural performance and significant weight savings over existing alternatives.

DRAWINGS

Composite rail engine cab structure- method of manufacturing is disclosed with reference to the drawings:

Figure 1 illustrates the first method of forming composite rail engine cab structure with top and frame made using VARTM and co-cured.

Figure 2 illustrates the second method of forming composite rail engine cab structure with top made using VARTM and bolted/riveted to pultruded frame members.

Figure 3 shows a third method of forming composite rail engine cab structure with VARTM panels bolted/riveted/hinged to pultruded frame members.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the first method as shown in Fig. 1, the frame of the cab is assembled using fiber preforms on a special mold tool (male or female) and then fabric preform cab top is placed on it. The whole set up is vacuum bagged for vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) and co-cured. VARTM is a process where dry fiber preforms are placed in a structural mold as required and then vacuum bagged with appropriate openings for resin. The resin is sent into the mold to infiltrate the preform and once the mold is filled, excess resin comes out from openings provided for venting.

In a second method illustrated in Fig. 2, a cab top is made with a combination of fabric preforms and stiffeners or alternatively, prefabricated parts, using VARTM and then connected with vertical post type members that comprise pultruded rods/beams using bonded insert bolted joints.

Fig. 1:  The first method of forming composite rail engine cab structure with top and frame made using VARTM and co-cured

Fig. 2:  The second me...