Elasto Proxy Covers How to Specify Rubber Door Seals for Passenger Rail Cars

March 15, 2013 - "Capabilities "

Rubber Seals

Each and every door seal is different. Also, there are customer components that require rigorous requirements to be met. In the mass transit industry, sealing solutions take technical design and custom fabrication of the highest quality. This was the case with a car builder who needed to retrofit passenger doors on Amtrak trains in the Northeastern United States.

Bombardier Retrofits Rail Cars

Years ago, Bombardier came to Elasto Proxy to redesign a rather complex door seal with design and delivery deadlines tight. The new seal had to meet all of the old seal’s requirements including shrinkage, thermal expansion, weathering; and many other sealing challenges had to be taken into consideration by our technical services team.

It was very crucial to select the right rubber compound. Neoprene, a synthetic material which offers a balanced combination of properties was decided as the best choice. The material is useful over a large temperature range and the versatile polymer shows an outstanding physical durability and resists degradation from sun, ozone, and weather. 

Rubber Seals and Human Health

Rubber compounds can affect human health and because of this, mass transit door seals need to meet standards for fire, smoke, and toxicity (FST). Designers or railcars prefer to use rubbers that are light in weight, but some combustion reactions produce toxins that endanger passenger health and safety.

Industry standards should also be taken into consideration. Bombardier SMP-800 C limits the concentration of toxic gases that can be generated by materials used in ground transportation vehicles. ASTM E162 and ASTM E662 from ASTM International define standard test methods for flammability and smoke density. Also the specifications differ depending on the location of the railcar system.

Product Testing and Passenger Safety

Product testing is conducted by companies that manufacture railway car doors. The door manufacturers use pill tests to ensure that passengers can extract items of clothing that become stuck between closed doors. Each project has a platform and the goal of each “open-shut” test is to demonstrate that any fabric from a shirt or jacket will not stay trapped.

Suppliers of seals need to be knowledgeable that railcar doors must shut tightly enough to keep out weather and wind; however they don’t need to close to tightly that the closed door could harm or endanger the passenger. Each door seal is different, and car builders such as Bombardier know the uniform importance of passenger safety and health no matter where the rail transportation vehicle is used.

Meet Elasto Proxy at CRTS

For more than 20 years, Elasto Proxy has provided the mass transit industry with high quality, low-volume rubber products like gaskets, cable cleats, hose protectors, door and window seals, and seat molding. In April, our co-owners and co-founders, Doug and Donna Sharpe, will attend the CRTS tradeshow in China along with Andrew Yang, Elasto Proxy’s in-country Sales Representative. If you are planning to attend this trade show, please stop by Elasto Proxy’s Booth A030.

For more information, please visit the Elasto Proxy Website.

Featured Industries
Move to Top