Top industry award for WMG research
WMG’s BRAINSTORM research project, with Far-UK, Composite Braiding and Transport Design International (TDI), was presented with the Technical Innovation of the Year award at the prestigious Global Light Rail Awards.
The Awards, dubbed as the industry’s Oscars, recognise outstanding achievements in the global light and urban rail sector.
Working with Far-UK, Composite Braiding and TDI, WMG researchers created a new design of an incredibly lightweight Very Light Rail (VLR) vehicle frame weaved from carbon fibre composites into a series of tubes to create a prototype demonstrator frame - the first of its kind.
Dr Darren Hughes, Associate Professor in Materials and Manufacturing explained: “Our BRAINSTORM VLR research partnership has achieved significant weight-saving, allowing VLR services to accommodate more passengers while reducing the energy required to propel the vehicle and the stress placed on the rails and road surface.
“The technology also ensures that the vehicle is tough for a long life in service, easily repairable when accidents happen and strong enough to protect the passengers on board.”
The judges praised BRAINSTORM for its innovation, vision and ambition to create not only new manufacturing processes but potentially a whole new industry.
One judge said: “This is what the industry has been waiting for decades. Aviation and automotive do this already, so it’s great to see a UK consortium bringing us up to that level. I can’t wait to see the first full vehicle next year.”
Find out more about the Global Light Rail Awards here.