If the railways are the lifeline of India, it is only natural that they must be built to last. As the most of present railways structures date back decades, there has been an attempt to modernize the railways by introducing new material and technology. One of these welcome developments is the introduction of GRP molder gratings to railways structures.
A number of GRP molded gratings manufacturers are today working on various railway components. GRP’s many advantages make them ideal for the heavy duty requirements of railways components. Some of the advantages that make GRP so suitable for railways are:
GRP has high strength to weight ratio as well as stiffness to weight ratio. It means that for a given weight GRP will be the lightest among construction materials. This has significant impact for railways where weight of coaches is an important factor to consider. The lighter the coaches, the less strain they put on the tracks, slowing down track wear and tear. Lighter coaches also mean less fuel consumption as running them needs less power. So, a lightweight material has direct and significant cost benefits.
GRP is perhaps the most corrosion resistant material. Its inherent resistance is superior to other metallic materials that get their resistance from a special coating, either by self-corrosion or through paint. GRP, on the other hand, is inherently resistant to corrosion.
For railways that need to run in all kinds of terrains, this is a very important property. It gives them longevity and durability under exposure to heat and moisture. GRP components require less maintenance and have a long life, staying economic through their life span.
Despite the low weight, GRP is not susceptible to vibrations. Tests have shown that GRP coaches and gratings both sustained high speed movement without increased vibrations. GRP molded gratings manufacturers are often engaged in making coaches and other components without impacting passenger comfort.
Low thermal conductivity
GRP has a very low thermal conductivity, which means that it does not transmit heat. This makes them ideal for air-conditioned coaches, since heat dissipation is kept very low. Hence, it lowers the energy consumption. It is also non-sparking, which means that there are no risks of electric shock.
GRP is easy to mould and can be shaped as per a given structure. It does not require many small parts made separately. This makes the consolidation of various parts significantly easier, bringing down labour costs and time taken. With less parts made, the costs of manufacturing is also less.
GRP does not break or dent easily. In the hardy conditions
GRP is used to make virtually every part in the railways — modular toilets, coach furnishings, inner frames, doors, locomotive parts, tracks, signals, sleepers and more. Apart from building the actual frame of the rail and the tracks, GRP has also been very important in modernizing the railways. The malleability of the material means that we can shape it any way we want. It also makes sleek and light components that enhance the visual appeal of the parts.
But the best part of GRP is its lightweight and strength. Together it has helped us to make coaches that are efficient to run, consume less energy, fuel and are faster to run. With GRP we have found a solution that is cost-effective, yet aesthetic.
GRP molded gratings manufacturers are also working in monorails and metro trains. The lightweight of the material again makes it ideal here. It is easy to install the railroads at overhead locations. The GRP coaches, lightweight and strong, are also ideal for overhead operations.
Future of Composites in Rails
In India the railways needs urgent innovation in both design and operation. Many of the current innovations in rail design and sustainability now see GRP as an integral part of the design. Even the quality of composites is changing rapidly with new product innovations that are more effective and efficient. The recent innovation of sandwich composites is gaining popularity worldwide. Containing a foam core between two thin GRP layers, this is the next generation in composites.
As composites gain more prominence in the railways, many of our suppliers are based overseas. Clearly, there is also a need for more GRP molded gratings manufacturers.