Developing and delivering aerosol extinguishing systems for the rail sector

Posted: 18 February 2021 | | No comments yet

Paul van Trigt, CEO of Aero-X AG, explains the importance of aerosol extinguishing systems for the rail sector, and how the company can offer customised solutions to meet different requirements.

How does Aero-X® support the rail industry in optimising passenger safety and minimising service disruption?

Optimising passenger safety and minimising service disruptions can be achieved by increasing the onboard safety and reliability and availability of rolling stock, as well as rail infrastructure.

Aero-X® has over 20 years of experience in developing, engineering, supplying and maintaining customised fire protection solutions for a vast range of markets and applications. The advantage of being active in these markets is that the experience, gained in all these different markets and applications individually, flows in the concept, design and services of the others.

All Aero-X® fire extinguishing systems are based on the Stat-X® aerosol fire suppression technology. We are the European master distributor of this technology. Stat-X® aerosol fire suppression technology advantages include high quality, long lifecycle, high modularity, high efficiency and effectiveness, environmentally friendly, harmless to human beings, and an excellent price/performance ratio. We can design customised solutions for our customers according to their specific needs and requirements.

Aero-X® solutions are applied to protect the technical areas of rolling stock as well as rail infrastructure. Due to their low specific weight and size, the systems are the optimal solution to enhance onboard safety without jeopardising the weight and wheel load of rail vehicles. This has, in the context of the EN45545, become an important issue.

Aero-X® solutions enable fast and effective fire detection and extinguishing close to the source, minimising the potential damage caused by a fire. This results in infrastructure and rolling stock being placed back in operation more quickly.

What challenges and opportunities does Aero-X® face with fire protection of rolling stock?

The rolling stock industry faces increased pressures to fulfil and comply with requirements defined by general international standards for rolling stock equipment and demands from rolling stock operators, e.g., the number of passengers for a maximum vehicle length or the speed of a train on a given track. Although these extra requirements must be incorporated in the rolling stock, the wheel load on the tracks must stay below certain limits, impacting the wear and tear, availability and operational costs of the tracks.

Aero-X® solutions can play an important role here because they are lightweight, compact and easy to install, making it easier for rolling stock designers to fulfil safety requirements. Furthermore, Aero-X® solutions can be applied as compensation measures if other equipment cannot fulfil the EN45545 safety requirements. In that case the weight of the respective piece of equipment can be kept lower by applying an active Aero-X® fire protection system.

A current challenge is the application of high-density battery storage technologies in rolling stock and the power distribution networks supplying the electricity to the tracks. It is a fact that fires in these energy storage systems behave differently compared to the typical class A, B and C fires found in rolling stock and rail infrastructure. In extensive testing, Stat-X® has proven to be a viable technology enabling effective fire suppression and limiting the potential damage these fires cause.

To what extent do you think innovation and technology is playing a crucial part in changing the future of safety in rail?

Increased global environmental awareness is leading to the use of new materials and energy technologies to drive rolling stock in an even more environmentally friendly manner. These new innovative technologies incorporate a lot of different challenges and will also guide the development of new fire detection and extinguishing solutions. We are committed to designing and engineering new solutions for future applications, and by doing so, Aero-X® is keeping fire safety on a high level and prepared for the future.

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