Minnesota, US – ÖBB, the national railway in Austria, is now using polyurethane components made by Chromatic 3D Materials to repair its trains. The parts include industrial-strength PU bellows and grommets, all made via 3D printing.
The train operator’s maintenance arm, ÖBB Train Tech, was finding it difficult to source obsolete components to maintain the trains, and approached Chromatic for help. Within a few weeks, 130 grommets were ready, along with bellows, cable glands and valve covers. These had been printed using Chromatic’s RX-AM platform for reactive extrusion additive manufacturing.
The parts are needed to provide tight seals against air and water in moving vehicles, and were printed using a thermoset PU to maximise their durability and flexibility. This included 1.5cm-thick load-bearing grommets with dense walls.
“We chose Chromatic because they are able to print PU in different hardness between 50-90 shore A,” said Sebastian Otto, head of AM at ÖBB Train Tech. The 3D-printed parts, Chromatic said, have the same 3D strength and compression set as injection-moulded parts.