METRO-NORTH Railroad has selected American Acoustical Products’ HushLiner FR acoustic ceiling panels for installation in the cabs of its GE Genesis passenger locomotives, replacing vinyl film which had de-laminated.

The lightweight panels provide sound absorption and an attractive, cleanable surface that resists graffiti and de-lamination. Exposure to a flame causes rapid charring, producing low levels of smoke and toxic fumes which meet USFederal Railroad Administration and German specifications for cab interiors and passenger vehicles.

The proprietary five-layer sandwich construction combines a perforated Indura GTfilm decorative laminate from Schneller with a new grade of Rail-Lite composite made by Azdel from GE’s Ultem polyetherimide resin. The resulting panels are around half the weight of aluminium equivalents, and the fire performance and low weight makes them a potential replacement for PVC, polyester, vinyl ester and phenolic reinforced plastics, as well as high pressure laminates.

Potential applications for the Rail-Lite composite include large semi-structural panels for window surrounds, ceiling and wainscot panels, seat backs, armrests, tray tables, luggage racks, partitions and other interior trim components.

GE Plastics, Netherlands