Rail travel is already one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly methods of transport and researchers are aiming to improve it further. Staff at the Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research unit are working on the development of environmentally-friendly resins for elastic rail fastening systems which have the crucial role in keeping the tracks in place. The goal of the project, which has been titled MAGIC (based on the Dutch translation of environmentally-friendly alternatives for hazardous isocyanate-based components), is to develop new resins from biomass which cure into an elastic rubber-like compound within a limited time. These biomass-based polymers can be applied as elastic sound and vibration-reducing materials and the scientists are studying various chemical compounds.
The final material should be less moisture-sensitive in processing and have a short curing time. In addition it must meet specific mechanical material requirements and adhere well to rails and concrete.
These polymers used at the moment are currently often based on isocyanates, which require special attention to occupational safety when being used. In the project Wageningen UR ( @)is working with Dutch companies edilon)(sedra and Croda.
According to project leader Rolf Blaauw from Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research, a sustainability analysis is part of the project: We are looking to determine the environmentally-friendliness of the new material. The tangible end product of the project is a prototype of the rail fastening system made with the biobased two-component resin.
Christian Bolck,Programme Manager – Materials,Wageningen UR – Food & Biobased Research is an expert speaker focussing on ‘Explaining the value of sustainable and bio-based alternatives’atBio-Based Products Worldin Amsterdam on 24-25thMay 2016. Christianwill be joining leaders from Ikea,BASF, Ynsect, Neste, Korres Natural Products, Ecoverand many more. Click here all the details of this landmark new eventwhere brands and retailers learn sustainable strategies and uncover bio-based alternatives.
If you liked reading about this bio-based industry and green products news you may also be interested in…