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Global Light Rail Awards 2019 - Project BRAINSTORM

Mon, 14 October, 2019

Driven by the rail industry's challenges to industry and academia known as the 4Cs - reduce Cost and Carbon emissions and improve Capacity and Customer satisfaction - project BRAINSTORM aimed to develop and demonstrate the applicability of braided composite structures to a novel, lightweight, modular railcar solution. 

With extensive expertise and knowledge in rail, automotive, bus and aerospace, project partners TDI, Far UK, CBL and WMG provided a radical approach to rail vehicle light weighting, as well identifying significant opportunities for exploitation and creation of a UK-centric supply chain in this industry.


The cost-effective approach developed consists of an underlying tubular spaceframe chassis which provides the bodyshell with the required mechanical performance. In the demonstrator the beams are all the same outside diameter, but the wall thickness is tailored to give the optimum cost/weight and performance balance. This keeps the tooling costs low and the joining is standardised. The tubes are then joined through a combination of welding and adhesive bonding. In the case of significant damage any individual beam can be entirely replaced with a new one. Best of all the thermoplastic material is inherently recyclable.

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