GERMANY: The refurbishment of 25 Bonn trams dating from 1974-77 includes installation of 150 m2 of BASF's Basotect foam for sound absorption and thermal insulation.

The 30 mm thick Basotect grade G foam panels being supplied by Hannover-based firm Hanno have a fine, open-cell structure which offers a weight of 9 kg/m3, high thermal insulation and the ability to absorb vibrations as sound is reflected from the vehicle's various surfaces. This lowers noise levels within the tram, providing a quieter and more comfortable passenger environment.

The foam is easy to process without producing dust, according to Alexander Wingen, Project Manager at Bonner Stadtwerken. 'This was important to us because we have created a special workshop in which we will gut the vehicles and completely modernise them. This means that we can cut the material to the exact size required on site using our own cutting tools.'

The first modernised tram is expected to return to service this year, with the rest being completed at a rate of three a year. 'The prices of new vehicles have risen rapidly in recent years,' says Wingen. 'But our old trams are still structurally sound. This is why we have decided to convert them and equip them with the very latest technology.'