News | September 22, 2008

Radel R Polyphenylsulfone From Solvay Advanced Polymers Specified For Interior Panels On New Bombardier FLEXITY Swift U5-25 Railcars For Frankfurt U-Bahn

ALPHARETTA, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Solvay Advanced Polymers, makers of more plastics with more performance, announced today that Radel® R-7700 polyphenylsulfone is being used in thermoformed interior panels in the new Bombardier FLEXITY Swift U5-25 railcars, which were developed for the Frankfurt U-Bahn (underground railway) and run there since May 2008. The material was chosen because of its ability to meet Hazard Level 3 requirements for heat release, flame spread, toxicity, and smoke generation as proposed in EN 45545-2 guidelines for railcar interiors. This marks the first time that Radel R polyphenylsulfone has been used in a mass transportation interior application outside the aircraft industry.

EN 45545 is a developing standard for European rail equipment that is expected to be adopted by the European Union by 2010. For plastics used in railcar interiors, the standard proposes various allowable levels for heat release, flame spread, toxicity, and smoke generation. Hazard Level 3 (HL3) has the most stringent requirements and is expected to be adopted by larger cities having extensive underground rail systems.

In the absence of a completed standard, the Frankfurt Traffic Association (VGF) specified such a strict requirement for heat release that the Bombardier FLEXITY Swift U5-25 railcars were designed to meet EN 45545-2 HL3 standards.

Bombardier's Light Rail Vehicles Business Unit, part of Bombardier Transportation GmbH, appointed Lakowa GmbH, an industrial plastics part manufacturer in Wilthen, Germany, to manufacture the interior panels for the railcars. According to Ralf Liebscher, Managing Director for Lakowa GmbH, the company was chosen because of its extensive large sheet thermoforming experience and ability to meet an aggressive production schedule.

The interior panels for the Bombardier FLEXITY Swift U5-25 railcars will be shown at Innotrans 2008 in the Solvay Advanced Polymers Stand No. 123 in Hall 1.1. Innotrans, an international industry conference and exhibition that focuses on railway technology, will be held in Berlin from September 23-28.

About Solvay Advanced Polymers

Solvay Advanced Polymers produces more high-performance and ultra-performance plastics than any other company in the world. This gives design engineers worldwide more ways to solve top design challenges in automotive, healthcare, plumbing, electronics, aerospace and other demanding industries. Learn more at

Solvay is an international chemical and pharmaceutical Group with headquarters in Brussels. Its companies employ more than 28,000 people in 50 countries. In 2007, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 9.6 billion, generated by its three sectors of activity: Plastics, Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals. Solvay (NYSE Euronext: SOLB.BE - Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR) is listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in Brussels. Details are available at

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