As a market leader and globally active equipment manufacturer for high-speed trains, such as the ICE 3, ContiTech provides for excellent suspension comfort, even at -50°C, ContiTech’s specialty is elastomer, a fancy word for rubber, which are technically polymers (large molecules composed of repeating structural units) that contain the property of elasticity. This technology concerns the high temperatures of silicone rubber.
ContiTech’s testing technology is truly state-of-the-art and its test rig has a climate chamber that can achieve temperatures between -50 ° C and +120 ° C.
According to Hubertus Gawinski, head of R & D at ContiTech Air Spring Systems:
"With this test rig, we are the only ones in Europe who can simulate the suspension properties of a high-speed train, while traveling though Siberia in winter. All load conditions that an air spring can experience in reality can be tested. In just a few weeks, an entire life cycle can be simulated and the performance of a component tested under realistic conditions. With separately controllable hydraulic cylinders, actual driving conditions are simulated, right down to the smallest detail.”
A leader in rail transport, ContiTech has a tremendous global presence with locations throughout Europe, Korea, Mexico, Russia, the United States, South America, Asia and South Africa. The colder regions of the world in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia present their own particular challenge. ContiTech had to find a way to simulate them and at the same time, maintain cooling while the multiple axles are in operation. Since the hydraulic cylinders cannot be positioned inside the cooling chamber for reasons of function and energy technology, the power is transmitted to the test specimen by means of an ingenious rod. Flexible insulating elements between the rod and the immobile parts of the test rig ensure sufficient heat insulation.
There is no question that ContiTech is a leader, but the real issue is who wants to go where it’s so cold to follow them?