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The use of polymeric materials in railway construction, especially in the case of composites, leads to improvements in design and lightweighting.

Glass fibre composites are used in the manufacture of interior design components (panelling, window modules and seats, among others) as well as structural components (walls, floors and ceilings). These elements are lightweight and highly resistant to corrosion, in which monolithic and sandwich materials are used due to their structural resistance, rigidity, insulation and low weight.

All railway construction materials have to comply with EN 45545, the European standard that regulates the fire performance of rolling stock construction materials. The priority is the safety of people, and therefore materials must meet stringent requirements in terms of their potential flammability, combustibility, drip melting, smoke emission and toxicity of gases emitted.


We research solutions for use in railway construction using thermosetting and thermoplastic composites and sustainable functional materials:

  • New low-viscosity flame retardant resins and formulations and catalytic curing systems for infusion and RTM processes, resins with lower environmental impact, such as those originating from natural renewable and recyclable sources, as well as flame retardant thermoplastic prepregs and composites.
  • Process improvement through the implementation of sensor technology and digitalisation, as well as advanced data analysis for monitoring and increasing mechanical performance.
  • Metal-composite hybrid composites that enable the construction of lightweight multi-material structures.
  • Incorporation of printed electronics and sensors in the polymeric material for tactile applications.
  • Structural calculation of composite components.
  • Application of materials and processes in monolithic structural floor and/or fireproof sandwich structure concepts in composite material for railway vehicles, as well as ceilings or other components.
  • Assessment of the environmental impact of products, processes and services in the railway sector.

Major Projects

foto 71 TAPE

Thermoplastic composites are an excellent alternative to thermoset composites and sheet metal. However, implementing them in the market requires overcoming certain limitations associated with processing them. To this end, the ZE-KOMP project was set up to work on developing optimised, reliable manufacturing processes, improving the sustainability of these processes from an environmental and cost point of view, and on manufacturing rates.

Subsidised by the Basque Government


The aim of this project is to develop lightweight materials based on aluminium and composite fibre metal laminates (FMLs), in order to meet demanding reaction to fire standards, by developing flame retardant prepregs.


foto 61 ecoretech

The aim of the project is to develop structural panels for applications in road transport vehicles and in formwork panels, which incorporate agglomerates made from recycled material from industrial composite waste in their core, thereby reducing composite waste and improving their environmental impact. GAIKER's lines of research are geared towards developing and characterising structural panels.


This aim of this project is to research and develop advanced technologies for lightweight, multifunctional, sustainable materials for road and air transport. GAIKER's research is geared towards developing hydrogen tanks by means of filament winding with integrated functionalities (hydrogen permeability, good reaction to fire and sensors in processing and useful life)

Subsidised by the Basque Government

foto 72 panel sandwich

The aim of this project is to develop new efficient processes with which to manufacture lightweight panels more quickly and economically. GAIKER's research is focused on developing and characterising lightweight multi-material fireproof panels by bonding skins and cores using adhesives and co-moulding, thereby replacing the traditional processes of manufacturing composites by manual moulding and infusion, i.e. a modular manufacturing process based on lightweight panels assembled by bonding, avoiding the need to invest in moulds of considerable size.


The aim of this project is to develop a new manufacturing cell based on advanced, intelligent organisational models to automate large composite manufacturing processes. GAIKER's research is focused on the control and automation of resin injection processes, developing preforms with constant section reinforcement and designing and developing demonstrators for the railway and shipbuilding sectors

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