Best practices to look for in a silicone component supplier to the rail industry

Best practices to look for in a silicone component supplier to the rail industry

The rail industry is entering an exciting new era of innovation. And, playing a small but important part in this journey towards enhanced safety, reliability and service, are silicone gaskets and sealing components.

As a rail industry manufacturer, when you select a supplier of silicone gasket and sealing components, it is critical that you choose one that will deliver the level of service and product quality that you need.

To help you make the right decision, we have put together this short guide to the best practices to look for in a silicone gasket and sealing component supplier to the rail industry.

Best practices to look for in a silicone component supplier to the rail industry

  • Strict compliance with industry standards – manufacturing for the rail sector demands strict adherence to industry standards, including the new European Safety Standard (EN45545-2:2013), which replaced several national guidelines. Your supplier should be able to deliver components that fully comply with these standards.
  • Flexibility of service – your silicone rubber component supplier will have the flexibility, both in terms of expertise and technology, to adapt processes, procedures and services to meet exact product specifications.
  • Comprehensive documentation provision – the supplier that you choose should have an operational framework and display the attention to detail that ensures you are provided with all the documentation needed for a full project overview, such as quality action plans, material data sheets, process reports and batch traceability information.
  • Repeatability and reliability – your silicone component supplier should be able to offer traceability of raw materials and manufacturing processes used to manufacture the parts, whilst also delivering data on dimensions and other quality control methods that ensure parts are manufactured to the same standard using the same procedures every time, giving you full confidence in the continuity of part quality.
  • High-quality product range – the supplier that you select should offer a range of high-quality silicone materials that adhere to the rail industry’s strict quality and health and safety standards. For example, component materials used in trains must display specific fire behaviors and properties, such as being fire resistant and flame retardant, and having low smoke toxicity. Materials such as FR70R provided by Advanced Materials have been developed specifically to meet rail industry standards and we are continually looking to new innovative materials that will meet future specification requirement.

    Other materials include:

    • AMRGSS a silicone sponge that meets EN45545-2: R22/R23
    • FR70R a solid silicone that meets EN45545-1: R1,R7,R22,R23
  • Commitment to quality standards – your silicone component partner should display a clear commitment to quality standards, including the right talent and technology at their disposal, and in the shape of an investment strategy that ensures that the highest standards are maintained.
  • Established design expertise – your silicone part supplier should have the ability to design silicone gaskets or seals to customer specifications, working hand in hand with you to develop drawings, samples and production strategies.
  • Testing and inspection mechanisms – the supplier that you choose should have the ability to carry out rigorous testing, including tolerancing parts to ensure uniformity, and to offer first-article inspection and process inspection reports.
  • Audited quality processes – you should be able to see evidence of the regular auditing of quality systems. This helps to ensure compliance with best practices and to make sure that your quality requirements are met consistently and without fail. Advanced Materials meets ISO9001/2015 as a minimum quality standard.
  • Colour matching capacity – your supplier of silicone seals and gaskets should have the ability to colour match silicone materials to meet specific company, brand or design requirements wherever possible.

Your rail project performance and the right silicone component supplier

The rail industry plays an integral role in how modern societies move and, with discussion and action around climate change impacting how we view other forms of mass transport, this role is only set to grow larger.

The use of silicone gasket and sealing components is part of this conversation and this advance. As a result, choosing the right silicone materials partner can have a significant impact on project performance for rail industry manufacturers.

Basing your decision on best practices specific to the rail industry is an important step in forming the right product development strategy.

To find out more about more about Advanced Materials’ silicone rubber manufacturing services for the rail industry, contact us on +44 (0)1903 713566 or