Public local and long-distance transit services play an important role in our mobile society and are considered emission-free alternatives to automobiles. Schunk Carbon Technology is presenting its latest developments for the rail to the international specialist audience at InnoTrans 2018 in Berlin. You can find us in Hall 9, at Stand 307.
For the longest time cities, communities and states have been searching for alternatives to individual transport which has been congesting the streets and damaging the environment. However, trains, buses and trams need to be able to withstand high demands placed on them by more passengers, tighter cycle times and faster operating speeds. Otherwise, test runs and vehicle breakdowns will result in delays, cancellations and thus higher costs for transit authorities. What can offset this tendency is the continual improvement of the components and materials used. Carbon-based innovations for local transit and long distance transport from Schunk Carbon Technology are currently making a big contribution to these efforts.
High speed as an endurance test for the material
Resilient and durable – these demands are met, for example, by carbon strips from Schunk Carbon Technology thanks to decades of experience, an unparalleled variety of materials and advanced manufacturing technology. Carbon collector strips are part of the pantograph, which are found on rail vehicles and provide contact between the overhead powerline and the pantograph itself. When in use, the pantograph is pressed against the powerline so that current can flow from the powerline to the train. On high-speed trains the carbon strips must stand up to speeds of 300 km/h and more. While doing so, the pantograph has to compensate for the constantly changing pitch angle and continuous up and down motion. If a gap forms between the powerline and the pantograph, then the electric current overcomes this by a process called arcing. This phenomenon is connected with extremely high temperatures, which can cause damage to the carbon strips or even lead to the part breaking in the worst-case scenario. That’s why our customers have been placing their trust in the excellent product properties exhibited by Schunk carbon strips for decades. Their outstanding electrical conductivity and the long service life of the products set standards for reliability and low-maintenance operation.
Tough and rugged: high-quality collector strips made of carbon
The All-Carbon Arcing Protection is resistant to electrical arcing due to its carbon-coated aluminium frame and also well suited for use at the highest of speeds thanks to its aerodynamically optimized design. Furthermore, the All-Carbon Arcing Protection and the integrated automatic lowering device also protect both vehicles and the overhead powerline from wear and damage.
Additionally, a further development of the safety mechanism for lowering the pantograph is included in this design. Ordinary safety mechanisms in the carbon strips activate the automatic drop device (ADD) while the adhesive bond is partially overheated. A newly developed air channel with predetermined breaking points reduces the occurrence this unwanted lowering and provides maximum reliability. Moreover, the mounting height has been adapted so as to achieve maximum running performance.
In Germany these solutions can be found on the ICE trains on the high-speed Cologne-Rhein-Main, for example. But customers are also already placing their trust in Schunk Carbon Technology innovations in such places as Scandinavia, China, Russia, France and South America.
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