Increased safety requirements for all European buses and coaches

21. March 2018 /// Thomas Recknagel

Railway carriage experience and high-tech fabrics to protect road traffic passengers

Particularly in recent years, serious coach accidents where vehicles caught fire have led to passengers being injured or even killed. For better passenger protection, the EU has issued a new, stricter regulation regarding the flammability of materials used in the interiors of buses. It was set down in Appendix 8 of ECE R118.

ECE R118 regulates the product testing of materials designed for use in motor vehicles. In contrast to the previously applicable Appendix 6, which prescribes horizontal flammability testing, the new Appendix 8 prescribes that the flammability of fabrics used for seat covers, curtains and textile linings must be tested vertically. This test involves the sample being exposed to an ignition source in the vertical position. The burning behaviour is documented and the flame propagation speed is determined. The product samples are tested by an accredited testing laboratory before they go into series production. In fact, it is not possible to register a new vehicle without a respective test certificate.

Thanks to its outstanding expertise in the area of fabrics for railway carriages, the Austrian company Herbert KNEITZ is already capable of producing textile products that meet the latest standard also for road traffic public transport vehicles. Particularly due to our experience with the European railway fire safety standard EN 45545, we know that selecting suitable raw materials from certified suppliers is as important as the subsequent finishing processes. Using chemicals with a flame-retarding effect as wisely as possible is better for the environment and contributes to the high product safety factor. All lots are also tested in our own fire safety laboratory before they leave our production facilities.

When it comes to safety, the second-best solution simply won't do. For that reason, passenger safety is the top priority for KNEITZ during the textile application development process and when creating unusual designs. For our customers, this means that our products are safe to use and process and are in fact a preventative measure that protects their vehicle fleet and also offers their passengers the highest-possible degree of protection.

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