Saudi’s Resin solution company to modernise seating system in Mumbai Suburban Trains

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s (Sabic) Lexan resin is being used by an Indian rail coach manufacturer to produce seating for Mumbai’s heavily-utilised railway system.

The resin is also being used by Brazil’s Monte Meão to produce seat banks for São Paulo’s new monorail system, Sabic said.

A Sabic statement said India’s 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.

With support from Sabic, ICF was able to design a seating system using injection-molded polycarbonate 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 Railway Ministry.

Sabic’s  Innovative Plastics business collaborated on a total solution, helping with each stage of the project, including concept, material selection, design, testing and commercialisation.

The teams carried out a trial and found that the seats performed exceptionally well under the intense crowds and heavy passenger loads during rush hours. In addition, the seats maintained their colour and gloss despite exposure to strong sunlight, heat and chemicals, Sabic said.

ICF selected Sabic’s Lexan 923X resin as it offers excellent strength and scratch resistance, while also meeting important international rail regulations, such as flame retardant and smoke density regulation UIC 564-2, app 11, and toxicity regulation NCD 1409.

Meanwhile, São Paulo’s new monorail system is also using Sabic’s high-performance Lexan resin.

Rail interior provider Monte Meão has unveiled an innovative design and manufacturing concept for the seat banks of São Paulo’s new Bombardier Innovia Monorail 300 system, Line 15-Silver.

The new monorail seating solution was created for Bombardier Transportation, a global leader in transportation, using injection-molding rather than fibre-reinforced plastic and traditional thermoset processing methods – marking the first time an injection-molding seating solution has been specified by Bombardier.

Early in the design process, Monte Meão enlisted the support of Sabic to help them optimise the design of the seats, provide tool development assistance, processing support, material certification and color recommendations.

Monte Meão identified the high performance Lexan FST 3403 resin, suitable for its high impact resistance, the malleability required to develop visually attractive designs and its light weight. The resin also complied with the most stringent fire safety regulations in the world – and, importantly, was suitable for use in injection molding.

“Beyond supplying the LEXAN resin, SABIC was pleased to work collaboratively with ICF on a seating system that responds to rail industry trends toward greater sustainability and an increased focus on the passenger experience,” Kim Choate, Director of Mass Transportation for SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business, said. 

“The rail ministry and passenger responses to the new seats clearly signal a win. In addition, ICF now has a new solution to offer to its customers,” he added.

The fresh designs using resin have performed exceptionally well under the intense crowds and heavy passenger loads in the rush hours during trials. The seats maintained their colour and gloss despite exposure to strong sunlight, heat and chemicals, he said.

The new three-seat design is easy to maintain, resistant to weathering and vandalism.

The resin, which exhibits high flow, enables the seating to be manufactured using a more efficient injection-molding.

The material can also be recycled at the end of its life, unlike the present thermoset seats which cannot be recycled.

Integral Coach Factory’s design group also worked closely with the Innovative Plastics business’ Global Application Technology team to design the new seat system.

Sabic’s Innovative Plastics division is showcasing its entire portfolio of solutions for the rail industry, which includes the sector’s broadest range of pan-European EN45545-compliant materials, at InnoTrans, being held until September 26 in Berlin, Germany.