In order to continuously improve comfort and safety of modern rail vehicles, ZF's new developments do not only focus on the chassis. The company presented a product innovation for the connection between cars too, which offers many advantages: The compact spring-damper element with an integrated tension and compression spring which eliminates unwanted jolts effectively and is perfectly suitable for vehicles with little installation space.
Spring-damper elements in rail vehicles are applied at the interfaces between the superstructures. There, they compensate and control the relative motions of the cars between each other. Thanks to the ZF innovation, passengers can now change from one passenger carriage to the other more comfortably and safely as it only permits gentle movements: This inter-car damper devised as a "spring-damper element" prevents unwanted, abrupt jolts effectively.
A glance at the equally complex and innovative technology of the new ZF spring-damper element shows why rail vehicle manufacturers and transport operators are also among the winners. The engineers managed to integrate the complete suspension system – effectively as extension and compression springs – into the vibration dampers, whereby a very compact design is possible. Precisely this compact design enables the ZF spring-damper element to be installed even in car transitions with extremely tight installation spaces, because in contrast to conventional solutions, the separate, rigid coupling element is now omitted.
The spring-damper element can be adapted flexibly and according to the individual customer's respective requirements. Both, the requested damping and the suitable spring characteristics, can be defined within a rather wide range. The adjustable in-vehicle length allows for the compensation of tolerances. Despite the fact that ZF designed the spring-damper element primarily for a horizontal installation, it can also be installed vertically. Last but not least, the ZF damper contributes to reducing life cycle costs: Its absolutely maintenance-free, modular construction makes it a convenient and favorable application in all respects.