LEICESTER, England—Trelleborg A.B.'s Industrial Anti-Vibration Solutions operation has landed a significant contract with Transport for London to produce suspension products for more than 100 tube trains.
Its Metalastik chevron springs and range of bushings were selected for the London Underground Central line trains because of the exceptional performance of previous AVS products the firm supplied for the trains and a long-standing relationship it has with TfL, Trelleborg said.
Financial details were not disclosed.
TfL's overhaul project is the second since construction of the original trains in the early 1990s, and Trelleborg Industrial AVS has been involved in both.
The project calls for the London Underground Central to replace or overhaul a wide range of equipment throughout the trains, including Trelleborg's suspension components, a company spokeswoman said.
“We developed the original chevron spring back in 1959,” said Rod Holroyd, rail global market manager at the firm's AVS operation. “It's a testament to our state-of-the-art solutions and the business value they add that we're still selected to supply projects such as this.”
He said rolling stock trains are subject to frequent light overhauls.
But approximately every 10 years they require a heavy overhaul, he said, and Trelleborg's products are being replaced as part of the project.
Trelleborg's products are developed around the idea of intelligent innovation, he said: “Progress built on business needs; in this case, low maintenance and longevity.”
Holroyd said that for the firm's current project, it will supply exact replicas of the original design “proving that basing research and development on business requirement is a strategy that doesn't age.”
Manufactured at its plant in Leicester, the company's Metalastik chevron springs are used around the world in a number of different applications, including light rail vehicles, metro lines, freight wagons, high speed passenger coaches and locomotives. He said they consistently have proven to be reliable.
A typical chevron spring has a linear spring rate, Holroyd said, but for demanding applications, a bespoke product with a rising spring rate was developed to provide better performance, especially when fully loaded.
This led to a more controlled operation and gave longer service life, he said.
Materials from the removed springs are being recycled, which reduces the impact on the environment, according to Holroyd.
Trelleborg is the main supplier of rubber/metal suspension components to London underground trains and has been involved in projects involving the train lines for more than 50 years, the spokeswoman said.