Deutsche Bahn (DB), the national railway company of Germany, has certified the use of Essentium’s High Speed Extrusion (HSE) 3D printing platform, in Neumunster, and high-performance materials for 3D printed train parts and tools. Essentium’s 3D printing technology, including flame-retardant Essentium 9085 and HTN-CF25 thermoplastics, has been tested to demonstrate that it complies with the AM Standard ISO/ASTM 52920:2023 and ISO 52920. Essentium’s AM solutions will allow DB to increase the availability of its fleet through the fast and efficient replacement of parts and tools.
By leveraging Essentium’s technology, DB aims to overcome supply chain issues and raw materials shortages for obsolete parts. DB maintains a digital warehouse of virtual technical drawings of spare parts. These parts can be 3D printed on demand, with around 1,000 models currently available. DB aims to raise this to 10,000 components by 2030. The Essentium HSE 3D Printing Platform in Neumunster, and the materials, will help Deutsche Bahn enhance delivery speed and lower costs by creating low-run parts on demand rather than mass manufacturing and storing vast quantities.
Rolling stock applications need to meet high levels of flame retardancy – even higher than in the aerospace industry. Traditional standard thermoplastics have poor mechanical properties and fire performance and are unsuitable for rail applications. Essentium’s high-temperature AM materials enable Deutsche Bahn to rapidly produce rail-worthy parts that can withstand 180°C and meet industry standards for reliability, repeatability, and performance.
“A lot of people still wonder if additive is ready for prime time. Deutsche Bahn, which is 3D printing tens of thousands of replacement parts for its trains, proves it is. We look forward to advancing Deutsche Bahn’s AM capabilities to speed repairs and keep its assets operational with minimal downtime. This partnership will pave the way for others in the rail and transport industries to follow,” said Blake Teipel, CEO of Essentium.