Mumbai: With a growing middle class in India and more people moving from rural and suburban areas to urban centers, there is an increased demand for reliable, appealing and long-lasting transportation solutions that can withstand the high usage demands placed on municipal infrastructure. This is particularly relevant to the Mumbai rail network, perhaps the most densely packed and intensively used rail network in the world. With support from SABIC, Integral Coach Factory (ICF), located in Chennai, designed a three-seat modular system using injection-molded polycarbonate to replace conventional single thermoformed seats. In addition to receiving rail ministry and passenger accolades for the seats’ comfort and appearance, the new three-seat design is easy to maintain, resistant to weathering and vandalism, more sustainable and meets internationally-recognized rail car standards for flame resistance.
Integral Coach Factory (ICF) was selected to develop new modular seating for what is perhaps the most intensively used suburban rail system in the world. ICF was able to design a seating system using SABIC’s injection molded LEXAN™ 923X resin and a fresh design to replace conventional single thermoformed seats for the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), which is responsible for executing projects for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project under the sanction of the Indian Rail Ministry.
ICF selected SABIC’s LEXAN 923X resin for its excellent strength and scratch resistance and its compliance with international rail regulations, such as flame retardance and smoke density regulation UIC 564-2, app 11, and toxicity regulation NCD 1409. Additionally, the high-flow resin enables the seating to be manufactured using injection moulding, a process that is more efficient than traditional thermoforming, which can take days compared to hours. The injection-moulded seat system can also be recycled at the end of its life; unlike thermoset materials which are not recyclable.