Meeting EN45545’s first safety parameters: a primer
  • Are you wondering how you can meet EN 45545's new fire safety standards?
  • Do you require materials that meet the most stringent hazard level requirements?
  • Then you should consider phenolic composites.




Manufacturers of rail components for use in the EU must determine the most practical way to meet the new European Fire Safety Standard EN 45545, which began to be implemented in 2013. The new norms become mandatory in all European countries in 2016. (Download our white paper, New EN45545 Fire Safety Standards: Implications and Options for Train Part Manufacturers.)


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Phenolic Composites: an Attractive Choice


Known for decades as the highest performing option for fire safety not only in ground transportation but also in aerospace, phenolic composites are resistant to ignition, have extremely low flame spread, and produce minimal levels of smoke and toxicity. This, along with the following reasons, makes them a compelling option for meeting EN 45545.

  • ISO 5660-1 testing indicates that phenolics are likely to meet all of the new rail safety standards, including the most stringent HL3 hazard level.
  • Hexion's Cellobond™ fiberglass reinforced phenolics have been specified by top train builders in important rail projects such as the London Underground and the Eurostar (Le Shuttle).
  • In addition to their unsurpassed FST properties, phenolic composites can also deliver weight savings at a tensile strength greater than steel or aluminum, delivering greater fuel efficiency and acceleration with improved crashworthiness.
  • Most importantly, in typical FST testing, Cellobond phenolic composites outperform the alternatives including intumescent gelcoated polyesters and polyesters with flame retardant fillers.


 Rail Composites Chart

Phenolic composites outperform polyester resins with intumescent gelcoats on a wide range of FST properties and meet EN45545’s three hazard level requirements.