Safety-relevant metal AM railway component obtains operational approval

December 6, 2019

Safety-relevant metal AM railway component obtains operational approval
The stainless steel 316L part is installed in the brake unit of a subway train (© Mobility goes Additive e.V., 2019)

The working group Approval of the Mobility goes Additive eV network has obtained approval for the operational use of a metal additively manufactured, safety-relevant component in rail transport. The ‘hanging bag’ part, which was produced in stainless steel 316L using Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) Additive Manufacturing, is installed in the brake unit of a subway train and is in use at Hamburger Hochbahn AG in Hamburg, Germany.

Following the joint development of an approval concept, the AM component’s suitability for use was successfully demonstrated. The required quality assurance procedures, corresponding tests and extensive documentation were then assessed by TÜV SÜD and found to be positive. 

After approval of the operation by the Hamburg Technical Inspectorate in accordance with BOStrab, commissioning took place in August 2019 by Hamburger Hochbahn AG. The tram construction and operating regulations, or BOStrab for short, regulate the construction and operation of trams and other surface and underground railways at the provincial level. 

Building on this precedent, which is innovative for the rail industry, a standard for further approvals at a cross-national level will be established in future. 

The working group Approval is headed by Siemens Mobility GmbH and supported by Mobility goes Additive members Deutsche Bahn AG, Fraunhofer IAPT and IGCV, Hamburger Hochbahn AG, Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH, Photon AG, SBB Cargo AG and TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH. 

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