InnoTrans 2012 - An Electrifying Connection: ContiTech Air Actuators for Pantographs
- Uniform contact pressure between pantographs and overhead lines
- Power supply for locomotives and multiple-unit trains
- Durable construction reduces maintenance costs
At InnoTrans 2012, ContiTech will be showcasing its air actuators for use in pantographs. Power is transmitted via these power supply units from the overhead line to the rail car, supplying the electric motor, electronic controller and on-board systems with electricity.
Air actuators play an important role in this process. As pneumatic drive components, they generate the right pressure required for the contact between the conductor lines and overhead line. This enables the transmission of power from the fixed overhead line via the pantographs so that the electrical drives are supplied with energy. "Our reliable and highly durable air actuators ensure that pantographs can function safely over many years, thereby saving our customers expensive repairs and investments in replacements," explains Dr. Olaf Kluth, the Industry segment manager at ContiTech Air Spring Systems.
Changing weather conditions and the high speed of rail vehicles are particular challenges. But the air actuators also need to be able to adapt to different overhead line systems at all times. The distance to the line can vary, particularly on bridges or in tunnels. Long distances between the masts along railway tracks can even cause overhead lines to sag slightly. Air actuators made from fabric-reinforced elastomers ensure uniform contact pressure whatever the situation. A regulated supply of compressed air ensures that the required force is generated inside the air actuator and can be adjusted as required.
The air actuators offer numerous benefits over other technologies: Lightweight, highly durable and maintenance-friendly, they can withstand extreme weather conditions and are resistant to UV radiation and dirt. "Air actuators have a rodless design, which means that they are frictionless and have a long service life," says Dr. Kluth, explaining the benefits. "This is why they are also ideal for small installations."