Why are Rail standards important?
The rail industry has very high standards on products used to power their infrastructure from under the carriages to in-car lighting and entertainment. These standards are used to keep equipment running on time and safely, as well as minimize impact in the event of an emergency. Two of the most important requirements are ingress protection and low fire hazard, all while maintaining integrity on a moving vehicle subject to motion and vibrations.
Ingress protection (IP) prevents elements from compromising the integrity of the conduit and degrading the conductors inside. Having a high IP rating keeps electronic devices and power equipment from being compromised by encountering elements that will negatively impact their performance. High ingress protection is crucial to keep wiring safe from rain, flooding, condensation, dust and any other elements that might enter the conduit. These elements can corrode or inhibit power to components causing down time. Down time leads to trains not running leading to lost revenue in addition to possibly costly repairs to get them up and running again.
Low Fire Hazard
Having a low fire hazard is equally important to rail, ensuring that in the event of a fire products do not react in a way that causes additional harm to employees, passengers and cargo. Low fire hazard is determined by flame retardant, low smoke emission, low toxicity and halogen free. Cable protection in rail is designed based on the application and location. For example, trains designed to run underground have higher fire performance than a train designs to run only above ground. Ensuring that passengers and employees can make it to safety is a key.
Flexicon® has flexible conduit solutions with excellent fatigue life for all aspects of rail from lighting within the carriages, under and above carriages, and more.