BS6853 Fire Regulations: Ensuring the Safety of Passenger Carrying Railway Vehicles

With railway lines running with continuous streams of passengers every day, often against adverse weather conditions or in enclosed spaces, it is so crucial for the vehicles used to be fire safety compliant. New or existing railway vehicles should constantly develop and upgrade to reduce the risks of damage caused by fire. The British Standard (BS6853) is the code of practice for fire precautions in the design and construction of passenger carrying trains. The code instates the responsibilities of railway vehicle designers, builders and manufacturers, to produce safer materials which release less toxic emissions in a fire, for the highest level of safety of passengers.

What Codes Are Practiced Through the BS6853?

Passenger carrying railway vehicles or the components which construct them, need to be tested for the following factors in order to become fire safety compliant:

  • That an acceptable control of the risk of ignition has been achieved
  • The rate of and total emission of heat, smoke and toxic fumes will be controlled at an acceptable level for all major usage materials and surfaces when exposed to a source of ignition
  • There is an acceptable resistance to fire for all items required to perform as a barrier to fire or required to perform some function when exposed to fire

The control of and reaction to ignition sources, fire, smoke or toxic fumes, extends to materials of a variety of sizes, which need to undergo different processes to meet these stringent industry requirements. Silicone is a very well suited material for the construction of passenger carrying railway vehicles, in that it is extremely resistant to high temperatures compared to most other cellular elastomers. In versatile forms its excellent compression values make silicone a reliable and durable material for the sealing of train doors, seating cushions and anti-vibration applications.

Silicone Applications for Railway Vehicle Safety

Silicone Rubber: silicone rubber is highly inflammable, resistant to extreme temperatures and approved to BS6853 standards for low smoke and toxicity. Widely used for mass transit systems such as the London Underground, the material is the ideal for the reduction of noise transmissions on wall panels, flooring and ducting. The rubber ensures functionality as well as fire safety.

Silicone Sponge: in sponge form, silicone is very soft and compressible, with excellent memory and low stress relaxation properties. This means that it can conform to seal various sized gaps, critical in reactions to ignition sources from the outside, in transportation, industrial and electronic applications.

Silicone Foam: silicone foam has the same characteristics as the sponge product, featuring exceptional flame, smoke, and toxicity resistance, as well as being high performing in varied weather conditions. Again this material is used to protect against the risk of fire from outdoor elements, along with absorbing shock and vibrations in passenger railway vehicles.

All silicone materials provided by CB Frost for use in railway vehicles, meet the BS6853 regulations to promote and ensure fire safety. Our flame-retardant products are available in continuous rolls, pads, gaskets or fabrications and can be supplied adhesive coated for ease of application. For more information about our range of materials and their specifications in relation to fire safety, please contact us on 0121 773 8494, or visit the CB Frost website.


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