MAGIC: Biobased sound and vibration-reducing materials in railway systems

In the MAGIC project, environmentally friendly resins for elastic rail fastening systems are being developed. These polymers are currently often based on isocyanates, which require special attention to occupational safety when being used. The new resins, being developed from biomass, can cure into an elastic rubber-like material within a limited time.

The main objective of the project is to use oleochemical building blocks to develop improved two-component elastomer formulations for rail fastening systems. The effects of molecular structure, catalysts and other reaction conditions on the functioning and performance of the elastomers will be studied and compared to the current polyurethane systems.

Rail fastening system prototype

Scientists involved in the project are looking into various chemical compounds. The final material should be less moisture-sensitive during processing and have a shorter curing time. In addition it must meet specific mechanical material requirements and adhere well to rails and concrete. The biomass-based polymers will be applicable as elastic sound and vibration damping materials. The tangible result of the project will be a prototype of a technically and ecologically improved rail fastening system.

"The sustainability analysis is aimed at determining the environmental benefits 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." - Project leader Rolf Blaauw from Wageningen Food & Biobased Research

The project is a collaboration of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research and the companies edilon)(sedra and Croda.