Fire X – Safety in Transportation

Fire Protection of Rolling Stock is right around the corner, so to fit with the theme of the conference we’re going to take a closer look at railway transportation safety and give a proper introduction to our own fire retardant Fire X products. 

V.A.V. Group developed Fire X profiles for fire-rated applications such as fire doors, trains, urban transport and maritime transport. They are used in conditions that require a high thermal resistance (< +270 °C) and where the seal must slow the spread of fire in extreme conditions. The primary material used in Fire X is silicone or TPV with fire-retardant agents added to them.

Main requirements for rolling stock fire safety

When choosing materials for fire safety we must consider: 

  1. How long the seal can stall the spread of the fire
  2. How much smoke could it generate
  3. What kind of toxic products overheating of the material could create. 

These considerations apply to all materials inside trains from insulation to furnishings, as heavy smoke and toxic gases can hinder evacuation during a fire. Simplified, the requirement is that even if the train were passing through a tunnel when a fire breaks out, all materials, including door and window insulation, would slow the spread of fire long enough for the train to exit the tunnel and for all passengers and staff to evacuate safely.

In rolling stock, for example, Fire X can be applied to components found on the interior surfaces, which include elements such as walls, ceilings, interior and external doors and windows. To ensure that the materials used in these components meet the requirements of European Standards, they must be meticulously tested according to standards.

Development and testing

The main raw material that is used for Fire X is silicone, but TPV, while not as heat resistant, is also an option for some components. A basic silicone profile will burn through fairly quickly as many basic materials do. For silicone Fire X, chemicals are added to the raw silicone material that give it heat and fire retardant properties. When Fire X catches fire, only the surface will burn momentarily but any flames die out quickly because of its fire-retardant constitution. Fire X has been developed to fit European standards in railway applications and is regularly tested to ensure its quality.

Our testing for Fire X is outsourced and measures various aspects in a controlled environment. The tests are used to time how long the material takes to burn, how much smoke is generated, and what kind of toxicity levels are found in the smoke. Smoke and gas tests have strict directions and conditions, from how the test chamber and specimen are prepared to how the data is collected and analysed. The goal of these tests is to ensure that in the case of a fire, the material will slow down the spread, and produce a minimal amount of smoke into the environment. 

Sometimes the materials are tested in collaboration with the client to see how the material behaves in its intended use or environment. This can mean for example testing the whole component, such as a train door. 

Application areas

The European standard has combined the requirements that used to be individual for most countries and specifies how and when materials are tested and what conditions they must meet. Fire X is suitable for example different categories of passenger trains and application areas for Fire X in rolling stock including components such as doors and windows. We have produced Fire X for subcontractors and manufacturers, especially for passenger trains, but Fire X also meets conditions for maritime transport and is used for similar components there. It is also used for more metropolitan ways of transportation, for example in tram and subway doors. 

Efficiency through flexibility and speed

Our clients and we at V.A.V. Group are conscious of the ecological aspects of our production methods and materials. Even though silicone as a raw material is not exactly green/recyclable, it has important advantages, like its long service life, that still makes it an ecological choice, especially when you get it from us. We at V.A.V. Group have the advantage of creating small to medium-sized batches, perfectly meeting the needs of rolling stock manufacturers. This means that our clients can always get the amount that they need without wasting resources on storage or wasting the product itself.

Combined with our fast delivery times we are able to deliver Fire X reliably with both safety and ecology in mind.

Fire Protection of Rolling Stock 2023

On the 1st and 2nd of March we are attending Fire Protection of Rolling Stock, an annual conference that brings together global operators, manufacturers, and component- and material suppliers. The two-day conference is a great opportunity to gain insight into regulatory updates, new developments and technology, and to connect with Europe’s fire safety leaders!

This year’s agenda includes for example topics on fire safety in regard to electric trains and other new technology present in modern rolling stock. You can find the agenda for the conference here.

For more information on Fire X, you can request a meeting by filling out the contact form online, or by contacting us directly by call or email:

Joni Penttinen

Sales manager

Tel. +358 400 582 269

Tuomas Moilanen

Tools manufacturing & quality

Tel. +358 406 604 208