Fire-retardant bio-based composite panel for train interiors (FR-TRAIN)


The FR-TRAIN project will develop a lightweight, fire-retardant, environmentally friendly composite material for

rail interiors. The shift towards high speed, nimble, electric & hybrid trains is driving the adoption of lightweight

materials, including fibre-reinforced composites. Currently, most composite rail interior panels & mouldings

use phenolic resin due to the stringent fire requirements. However, phenolics emit large amounts of CO during

combustion and their use is expected to be restricted as they contain toxic and carcinogenic compounds.

FR-TRAIN will develop a revolutionary composite material based on polyfurfuryl alcohol (PFA), a resin derived

from biomass waste, which has low flammability and smoke emission, is non-toxic, renewable and offers

benefits including faster curing and improved surface finish. The PFA resin will be used with a fibre

reinforcement and a lightweight core to produce a composite panel system, which will be tested against the

stringent rail interior standards. Initial applications are likely to be walls, floors, bulkheads and lavatory

modules, as part of the £180m/yr in European market for these materials.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Composites Evolution Limited, Chesterfield £87,673 £ 61,276


Trb Lightweight Structures Limited, Huntingdon £54,764 £ 32,858


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