Rail transport floor coverings: how foams help to reduce noise and vibrations

If no sound insulation measures were taken by constructors, it would be very uncomfortable to travel in trains, especially high-speed trains. Luckily, modern trains have a high level of sound and vibration damping measures, properties that can largely be attributed to the use of foams, especially on floors.

Where do noise and vibrations come from in trains?

There are four main sources of noise in trains:

  • Contact between the wheel and the rail is the main source of noise and vibrations, when the train is driving between 80km/h and 300km/h (rolling sounds, impact sounds, screeching sounds);
  • The noise of on-board equipment: engines, compressors, ventilation systems, air-conditioning and heating systems;
  • Sound of an aerodynamic origin;
  • The noise generated by the movement of the train which is propagated by shock absorbers;

Why is it so important to reduce the noise and vibrations inside trains?

The noise levels generated by train traffic is considerable. Without good soundproofing, passengers are exposed to high levels of noise likely to cause hearing loss and other health issues.

Without the use of dampening foams, the levels of noise and vibrations are so high that it can become unbearable to travel in high-speed trains for a few hours.

Soundproofing: several criteria to take into account

There are several criteria to take into account:

  • The frequency of sounds to reduce or block;
  • Absorption level (decibels);
  • The thickness of the insulating foam;

For optimal sound performance, several different types of foams can be used together within a multi-layer composite material. This allows constructors to reduce noise from most noise pollution sources.

ADDEV Materials offers custom solutions

Do your specifications contain specific requirements in terms of noise reduction? ADDEV Materials takes into account all of your criteria to offer you a custom solution.


Anti-vibration floor coverings

The floor is an element in contact with many of the train components and is likely to transmit the noise generated by contact between the wheel and the rail, as well as a high level of vibration. This is why it becomes essential to effectively manage noise and vibrations in terms of the flooring.

Foams specially designed to reduce noise or vibrations are therefore often associated with the floor panels comprising the train floor. Their use allows for a significant improvement in terms of passenger comfort.

Which foams meet these requirements?

The foams used to absorb vibrations and reduce noise have been studied for these specific applications, and their performance is outlined in technical specification sheets.

Our main supplier is Rogers, which offers a range of BISCO® products, a wide range of silicone- and compact material-based cellular foams designed to manage the internal vibrations in the rail transport industry.

BISCO® also offers other materials designed to handle a wide range of damping coefficients or to prevent resonance.

BISCO® silicones are compatible with various national rail transport standards, in particular NFPA 130 (the United States), BS 6853 (the United Kingdom), DIN 5510 (Germany), EN 45545 (Europe) and NFF 16-101 (France).


Do not hesitate to contact an ADDEV Materials expert for help regarding your applications