Advancements in engineered plastics and composites have led to significant improvements in the fuel efficiency and safety of mass transit vehicles, from trains and buses to aircraft. Plastics have long been one of the most popular materials used in the manufacture of mass transit vehicles due to their high strength to weight ratio, high wear and corrosion resistance and fire and flame resistance. They are able to withstand outdoor conditions without corroding or dropping in performance.
Recent advances in composites have expanded the use of plastics in these vehicles beyond bins, seats and mirrors. The new composites are flexible enough to withstand sustained vibration, yet rigid and strong enough to support larger structures. In addition, they are lightweight, providing optimal operation and fuel savings. As a result, larger buses and faster trains are being developed, improving mass transit systems worldwide.
Both the new composites and existing mechanical plastics provide fuel savings, long product life, continued high performance and low maintenance for buses and trains. Plastics are being used throughout buses and trains for bins, seats, mirrors and insulation, as well as for structural components and interior skins.