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One of the key elements for the prototype required the assembly to perform equal to the existing door design, but with improved reliability and maintenance.
The team rose to the challenge and began the intense research and development phase of the technical design, using state of the art software. The design was created using 37% fewer components than the original and achieved a mass saving of at least 10kg. Once the design had been virtually tested, the engineering team initiated the intricate build phase.
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Utilising carbon fibre with an impregnated core of polymer resins, creates a malleable sheet which is easy to press form using a modern hydraulic press. The lightweight composite door was rigorously tested, undergoing over 1,000,000 dynamic cycles, where its performance exceeded the static and dynamic test requirements.
Additional compulsory testing was carried out to meet various British safety standards to ensure complete confidence in the design and afford the highest level of public safety. The prototype met:-
- BS 476-7 Flame Spread, measuring the lateral spread of flames along a surface
- BS 476-6 Fire Propagation, calculating the amount of heat released
- BS 6853 Annex D Smoke Density, specifically for passenger carrying trains
- BS 6853 Annex B Toxicity BS 6853 Annex B Toxicity
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The blueprint integrated an optimised window system design enabling ease of maintenance, and therefore improving service times. The whole design improved durability, reduced track wear and extended the service life of the door leaf assembly by up to 40 years.