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Techno-Composites Domine GmbH
Dieselstraße 34
49716 Meppen

GRP-based design solutions for commercial and railway vehicles

Composite materials are particularly popular in the transport sector due to their special technical and physical properties. TC has been working with renowned European manufacturers of railway vehicles, buses and lorries for many years. We use glass fibre-reinforced plastic (GRP) profiles to develop custom products that meet the most stringent requirements in terms of quality, safety and cost-effectiveness.

With a density of approx. 1.95 g / cm³, a glass fibre reinforced pultrusion profile is lighted than a component made of a material like aluminium (2.7 g/cm³) or steel (7.87 g/cm³). But we also regularly manage to make the add-on components lighter, resulting in a low-weight overall assembly. Every kilogram of a vehicle is constantly being accelerated and then braked again. This uses up energy and thus costs money. You can save money with our lightweight components.

We use fibre composite materials to manufacture components with unusual contours, undercuts, hooks, hollow chambers, and much else besides. Another option is the foam-filling of components. As such, there are very few constraints on the shape. We are happy to have a detailed discussion with you on what is and isn’t possible.

Compared to other plastics and even metals, fibre composite components or composites can be used to transfer high mechanical loads. Steel components weighing several tonnes have been placed on supports made of fibre composite materials, which have proven lastingly effective. Describe your application to us, and we’ll provide the design ideas.

A selection of our projects
in the rail and commercial vehicle industry

Roof panels for the Flexity tram in Palermo, Italy

What looks like a three-dimensional, single-cast component on the sides of trams from the Flexity range from Bombardier, consists of pultruded GRP elements with glued-on end caps, which have been milled, glued, primed and painted. Optionally, the 656 mm wide roof panel can also be manufactured with a glued-on bracket. It has fire protection in accordance with NF F 16-101 and DIN 5510. For new projects, we also meet fire protection requirements in accordance with EN 45545.

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Spoiler for the M5000 tram in Manchester, UK

Bombardier designed the M5000 tram as a high-floor tram specially for use in Manchester. The spoiler consists of a solid stainless steel frame with a glued-on GRP profile. The profile was milled on modern CNC machines at TC, glued to the frame, primed and painted with a special 2K-PUR metallic paint. It is manufactured in different lengths and designs. It has fire protection in accordance with BS 6853. For new projects, we meet fire protection requirements in accordance with EN 45545.

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Interior deck system for the Rhein-Ruhr Express (RRX)

The high-capacity, double-decker local trains developed by Siemens are fitted with an interior deck system from TC. All of the components – middle deck, low-floor and high-floor haunches, inner side deck and cold air duct – are based on GRP pultruded profiles.

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Airflow system for the Desiro ML/ÖBB, Austria

Having developed and manufactured the airflow system for the Desiro ML Mittelrheinbahn and the Desiro ML Brussels, TC is now also producing the airflow system for the Desiro ÖBB. The respective systems are based on pultruded profiles made of fibre glass-reinforced plastic. For the air ducting system, the fire protection properties of the GRP profiles were set in such a way as to meet the requirements in accordance with EN 45545.

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Roof panels for the Sprinter Lighttrain in the Netherlands

For the Sprinter Lighttrain made by Bombardier, stainless steel sliding blocks were glued into the GRP profiles (A2 bonding) for high rigidity. Vertical tear resistance of 2,772 N was required for every single adhesive bond. This requirement was far surpassed in practice.

The roof panel, which has the appearance of a 3-dimensional component from a single cast, consists of pultruded GRP profiles and 3D moulded parts, partly combined with stainless steel components. 3D-printed components may also be used.

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Side panel casing components for the TALENT local train

TC supplied side panel casing components for the TALENT local train, manufactured by Bombardier Transportation in Talbot. These components were manufactured on the basis of nine different pultruded profiles. All of the components – the GRP profiles and other components made of SMC pressed parts, EPDM covers, stainless steel and aluminium components – were designed, machined and bonded together at TC. This meant that the customer was supplied with ready-to-paint finished parts.

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Air flow system for the Rhein-Ruhr Express (RRX)

The various systems are based on pultruded profiles made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic produced by Exel Composites in Belgium. For the air ducting system, the fire protection properties of the GRP profiles were set in such a way as to meet the requirements in accordance with EN 45545.

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Interior deck system for the Desiro ML

Following the development of the interior deck system for the Desiro ML Mittelrheinbahn and the Desiro ML Brüssel at TC and its subsequent delivery, the interior deck system for the Desiro ÖBB is now being manufactured at TC. The various systems are based on pultruded profiles made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic produced by Exel Composites in Belgium.

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External casing components for urban buses and longdistance coaches

For many years, we have been developing casing components for the exterior of buses and railway vehicles here at TC. One advantage of GRP profiles is that we can produce different component lengths based on just one tool. This increases flexibility in design. The components are based on a profile made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic, which we process in our CNC-controlled milling machines to produce
precision-cut parts for e.g. wheel arches, indicators and maintenance covers. We can also install reinforcements or add-on parts at the same time if required.

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Repair side walls for urban and overland buses

The side walls of urban and overland buses are put under major strain by the day-to-day demands placed on them: stone chipping, scratches and minor and major accidents quickly cause damage to the thin-walled metal sheets found in older models. What's more, in some cases the effects of weather and chemicals such as de-icing salts and cleaning products can lead to unsightly signs of corrosion, which can damage the image of the bus company among its customers. This makes repairs and touch-ups necessary.

As non-corrosive plating is not always available for older vehicles, TC manufactures side walls made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic that are suitable for all such models and makes, and provide an optimal and durable alternative to older metallic plating.

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Corner and plug-in profiles and seat support covers

TC products aren’t always apparent at first glance. They often resolve problems in complex assemblies. For instance, they are used to meet the need for a component that has good thermal insulation properties, but is also lightweight and has a high mechanical load capacity.

Providing solutions with composite materials:

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Roof rim for trams in Karlsruhe

When manufacturing and attaching the roof rim for trams in Karlsruhe, it was particularly important to ensure that the adhesive bond was secure. These dual-system vehicles, which are manufactured by Bombardier, can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h. The GRP roof rim was attached to the vehicle body using an invisible aluminium bracket. The adhesive bonds between the aluminium and GRP were applied in accordance with DIN 6701, Class A1, and thoroughly tested in conjunction with the Fraunhofer Institut. FEM calculations demonstrate the permanent durability ofthe adhesive bond.

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Door supports for the ICE 4

The ICE 4, which was jointly developed by Siemens and Bombardier, is fitted with GRP door supports from TC. The door supports are installed immediately above the sliding doors. The 14 different types of door support are based on a GRP pultruded profile. The door support is a highly complex component which TC has once again been about to demonstrate its performance as a systems supplier. It consists of different aluminium profiles, brackets for the power supply and emergency brake, and infrared sensors. In addition, many door supports are fitted with a lockable flap and toilet ‘occupied’ displays. All of the adhesive bonds on the door support meet the requirements of DIN 6701. The entire door support is painted in two colours.

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Interior deck system for the Desiro ML/ÖBB

Following the development of the interior deck system for the Desiro ML Mittelrheinbahn and the Desiro ML Brüssel at TC and its subsequent delivery, the interior deck system for the Desiro ÖBB is now being manufactured at TC. The various systems are based on pultruded profiles made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic produced by Exel Composites in Belgium.

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Are you facing similar challenges?

Let's talk about possible solutions.