Our Values: Innovation

Innovation: Award Winning Lightweight Doors

The NCC worked in partnership with Transport for London (TFL) to develop a new lightweight composites door for tube trains. The prototype was manufactured at the NCC using polyetherimide (PEI) glass thermoplastic for the skins and internal structure. The doors also featured a lightweight thermoplastic-based glazing. The final product was approximately half the weight of the existing metallic doors with reduced cycle times for High Volume Manufacturing. By replacing traditional metals and plastics with composites materials the new doors introduced a number of benefits including;

  • Less stress on the mechanical parts of trains
  • Less power needed to move the train with energy savings of £100,000 a year
  • Reduction in track wear, saving £400,000 a year;
  • Passenger journey time savings worth £4.7m a year

The lightweight tube train doors are an excellent demonstration of composites capabilities which gained much attention and prizes including U.K.’s National Rail Award for Design and Stephenson Award for Engineering Innovation.

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