Crash resistance and lightness.

Hitachi Rail, a company among the world’s largest manufacturers of trains and railway equipment, asked Loson to design and manufacture a shock absorber to replace traditional steel ones.

Trains are undergoing a lightening process similar to the one that has already taken place in aeronautics. Loson is therefore able to transfer all the lessons learned in its aerospace skills to this field. So, the designs were reviewed to identify new construction solutions and materials. The goal was to significantly reduce weight while maintaining at least the same absorption performance as steel components.

The result is ESCS Shock Absorber™. Made from carbon fiber, the redesigned component has been adopted for the head and tail cars of different train models, starting with the Honolulu and Thessaloniki subways, the M4 subway in Milan and the Hitachi Blues Hybrid Train. Given the presence of metal flanges and the transmission of eddy currents, fiberglass inserts were integrated for insulation purposes.

The new absorbers have successfully passed all crash and compliance tests, substituting traditional steel bumpers with a weight reduction of 60 percent. This allows the installation by a single operator, significantly reducing cost and improving work safety.