Mat4Rail project, coordinated by CIDETEC, launched in San Sebastián


From 4th-5th October 2017, CIDETEC has hosted the Mat4Rail Kick-off meeting in San Sebastián, a project funded through a Shift2Rail Materials Open Call to design the the railway of the future.

The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2R JU) is a public private partnership in the rail sector, providing a platform for cooperation that pursues research and innovation activities in support of the achievement of the Single European Railway Area and improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of the European rail system.

The Mat4Rail project comprises 16 partners from 7 different European countries, who assisted to this event in order to kickstart the work planned for the upcoming two years.

With a budget of 3.5 M euro, Mat4Rail distributes its activities in two work streams: Materials and Interior Design. The former (Materials) relies on the development of lightweight carbodies by the replacement of metallic parts by Fibre Reinforced Composites . These composites need to meet the stringent railway environment requirements regarding Fire, Smoke and Toxicity, mechanical performance and cost effective manufacturing. Additionally, innovations for materials for access door systems are also proposed, to reach improvements in terms of weight, acoustic attenuation, thermal performance and cost efficiency.

The second work stream (Interior Design) relies on the smart modular design of train interiors for increasing the passenger capacity and comfort. It addresses the challenges and shortcomings of current rolling stock in terms of modularity in use in order to meet the changing passenger demand during the operating life-cycle (around 30-40 years) of a train. This work stream is aimed towards tackling this challenge in three distinct sub-systems: innovative plug & play systems, innovative seats and innovative driver’s desk.

Mat4Rail will run parallel to a complementary project for Shift2Rail members, called PIVOT, coordinated by Bombardier and counting on the participation of train manufacturers. Through the fruitful interaction between Mat4Rail and PIVOT, the two consortia will achieve innovations responding to the rail industry’s needs.

The innovative work to be developed in Mat4Rail will be possible thanks to the experience and multidisciplinarity of the consortium led by CIDETEC, with the participation of 16 international bodies such as research institutes (CIDETEC, AIMPLAS, ITAINNOVA, CENTEXBEL, RISE), small and medium enterprises (Coexpair, IMADresden, NAVIGATOR, SPIRIT, INDAT, ESCATEC, ACCELOPMENT) , large industries (Huntsman, ASAS, Grammer) and a university (University of Bremen). All of them will work side by side in order to develop lightweight and smart rolling stock for a more sustainable future.

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