Commuters in major metro areas choose trains as their mode of transportation because trains allow them to enjoy a safe, comfortable ride and avoid driving through rain or snow. When train cars lose power, though, it causes delays for the affected train and others caught behind it on the track. Even worse, trains without electrical power lose their ability to regulate the internal temperature of the cars. During the summer, temperatures inside the car can reach 38° C (100° F) if not cooled. In the winter, lost power can result in passengers facing below freezing temperatures inside the cars.

rail_app_noteA commuter train operator was facing this challenge on a regular basis because their electrical panel, located on the external surface of the car, was failing. The extruded rubber gasket that filled the space between the electrical panel and the car was not holding up to the harsh weather conditions. It hardened over time, producing gaps where wind, rain, and sun damaged the electrical panel. The result was loss of power.

Rogers’ BISCO® BF-1005 extra soft silicone foam material provided the right solution.

The compression set resistance of the BF-1005 silicone material made it the right material to fill the spaces created by the inadequate seal of the extruded rubber gasket. In addition, the softness of BF-1005 silicone material allowed it to easily fill the difficult geometries needed to maintain a good seal and keep the elements from shorting out the electrical panel. What’s more, the commuter train operator did not need to waste man-hours removing the old, dried out rubber gasket before installing the BF-1005 silicone foam. A Rogers Preferred Converter provided a precut peel and stick ready-to-use solution, which saved the customer time and money on installation. BF-1005 silicone foam meets ASTM E162, ASTM E662 and SMP 800C standards for flame, smoke, and toxicity requirements on trains.

Rogers’ BISCO® product family offers a wide range of multi-functional silicone-based elastomeric foam and solid materials for use in rail interior applications such as seals, gaskets, floor isolation pads, thermal insulation, sound barriers and anti-squeak / rattle pads. These materials are offered in continuous sheet form, enabling ease of fabrication whether slitting, die-cutting, or laminating with adhesive. In addition, Rogers offers a highly durable silicone seat cushion foam, supplied in bun stock form or as a fabricated cushion shaped to the customer’s design requirements.

innotrans_logoOur high temperature BISCO® silicone materials for rail will be on display at InnoTrans 2016, the place to be for anything and everything rail and public transportation: railway technology, infrastructure, public transport, interiors, and tunnel construction.

InnoTrans 2016
September 20-23, 2016
Messe Berlin
Hall 3.1 / 513

At the show, we’ll be featuring the BISCO MF1® 35 (35 IFD) and MF1® 55 (55 IFD), high quality silicone foam materials designed for seat cushion applications. They feature exceptional flame, smoke, toxicity (FST) characteristics, superior weather and UV-resistance, and low compression set to ensure safety, long-term comfort, and durability. They are available in slab form or may be fabricated to customer specifications.

Engineers and designers can quickly find the material that’s right for their application by downloading the BISCO Silicones Rail Interior Solutions Application and Material Guide.

rail_interior_solns_brochure

InnoTrans 2012 is less than a week away and we’re ready to leave an impression on the show!

Our booth is waiting, our information is fresh, and our team of talented engineers and marketers is ready to go.

So what can you expect from us there? Well…

  • A booth that will let you not only see our products, but also experience them
  • Sound barrier solutions that increase passenger comfort by creating a quieter cabin
  • Seating that rewards riders and OEMs alike with a minimum life of 10 years and minimum decreases in both indentation force deflection (IFD) and height.
  • Flooring solutions to keep things running smoothly by lowering natural frequencies and passing even the most stringent flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) standards.

Find more information and show specifics including where to find our booth here. Hope to see you there!


In case you haven’t seen it, Rogers recently unveiled a whole new web site for our High Performance Foams technology and products.

Why did we do this? Well, we wanted to provide a quick, visual way to share technical and application information about our advanced materials and quickly illustrate how they are being used.

The following sections have been created:

Applications – Highlighting common uses for PORON® Urethane Foams and BISCO® Silicones such as acoustics and vibration, cushioning and pads, sealing
and gasketing and shock and impact absorption

Markets – Sharing how our products are being used in aircraft, automotive, HEV, consumer electronics, electronic enclosures, footwear, medical, rail and sports apparel/equipment.

ProductsBISCO® Silicones, PORON Microcellular Urethanes, PORON Peformance, and PORON Medical Products.

Design Tools – Highlighting the latest design tools including PORON Urethane Gap Filling Tool, Floating Floor Design Tool, HPF Materials Selection Guide, Impact Prediction

Technology – showcasing the latest technology tutorials and white papers

Articles and Tools – sharing the latest from print and online publications and blogs

Let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.


Ken Kozicki from BISCO® Silicones recently authored an article for Railway Technology International about the design considerations that go into creating comfortable railcar seat cushions.  How important are first impressions for seating when a passenger steps into the railcar? Obviously, if it’s the Orient Express or another high end rail system, the feeling of luxury must be present.  But even for standard commuter railcars, seat cushions do make an impression.  Ken notes:

“…the most prevalent and obvious fixture within any interior, rendering, brochure, or maze of booth exhibits is the seat or array of seats. The type of seat will vary from the most outrageously luxurious – slated for a VIP very high speed Oriental Express pod – to the simplest and ergonomic that allows for rows and rows of passengers in a configuration that would be suitable for the rush hour of London, Shanghai or San Paulo….What has taken teams of engineers and designers months, if not years, to conceptualise, design, prototype, test (and re-test), will be given a judgment in less than ten seconds. So from that, one could wonder just how important is the first impression of a railcar seat?”

In this article, Ken look at the design considerations that need to be factored in when choosing the right seat cushion for a railcar:  Ken highlights the following:

  • the number of seating positions per coach (as required by the transit authority)
  • materials’ standards for flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST)
  • type of train service (urban metro system versus suburban commuter), and
  • severity of usage.

Ken also discusses the new concerns of sustainability and end-of-life:

“This is being driven by questions related to the disposal of the seat: “What will become of a worn, damaged, or obsolete seat?” Will it be thrown into a land-fill? What are the decomposition ramifications of that seat in a land-fill?”

All good questions.  But what about the seat itself and the cushioning material? Are some better than others?  Ken suggests yes, there are differences between one cushioning material from another:

“…cushions have differences in profile, appearance and texture, it is not obvious that there are different types of materials used to fabricate the cushions. These materials are usually in the form of foam, such as a filled-polyurethane, silicone, and melamine. The foam which is specified for the fabrication of the cushion will have been tested to the various FST standards, ensuring the safety of the passengers. In addition, some of the foam materials may have been cycletested to simulate wear and usage, which brings us back to our earlier statement of first impressions. Often, seat cushion foam materials are tested and certified to a characteristic known as indention force deflection (IFD).”

2-D & 3-D view of thin profile seat with loaded urethane

“A typical IFD test method will be comprised of a disk of a determined diameter that compresses the foam material a certain percentage of its thickness, and then measures the amount of “pushback” force the foam has. This is its indention force deflection, and is directly related to the comfort of the seat. In production, the foam will be certified according to this test. If it is within the IFD tolerance range, the foam will be qualified for seat cushion fabrication.”

Of course, Ken highlights that the bigger test happens after many months of wear on the cushion, after the “pushback” force has been worn down.  Different materials, like silicone foam, do a better job over the life of a cushion than other materials.

To read Ken’s final recommendations, either view the article here (in a magazine viewer) or download a full PDF of the printed article.

Related Links

BISCO Material Selection Guide

Floating Floor Design Tool

Silicone Material Selection Guide

On December 2, 2010, in BISCO Silicones, by sharilee

Selecting materials for gasketing and sealing means taking a close look at critical specs, such as temperature, flammability, toxicity, vibration isolation, and sound damping. To make the process easier, the Silicone Material Selection Guide walks you through the options, helping you pick the right materials for your application.

Fire, heat, tearing, elasticity, EMI/RFI shielding – there are a lot of issues to consider. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), for example, need materials for environmental seals, vibration pads, antenna seals, battery cell cushions, and more. The goal is a design that performs at its peak over an extended period of time. This requires materials that keep harsh environmental elements out and provide low compression set and long term stress relaxation.

For mass transit applications, foam cushioning is one of the largest single combustible components. As a result, strict regulations are in place to ensure cushions meet flame spread, smoke density, and hazardous emissions standards.

Whether your design calls for resistance to temperature extremes, low flammability, or high tear strength, start your search with the Silicon Material Selection Guide. The Guide features BISCO Silicones — cellular, solid, and specialty materials that can be fabricated into gaskets, heat shields, fire stops, seals, cushions, and insulation for a wide variety of applications.

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