Roxtec’s flexible sealing products are used on board rolling stock and as part of rail infrastructure projects across the world, protecting life and assets against multiple hazards, and ensuring operational reliability.
Founded in the garage of Swedish entrepreneur Mikael Blomqvist in 1990, Roxtec has grown to become the world leader within sealing solutions for cable and pipe transits. Today the company has in excess of 250 registered product certificates and more than 500 registered tests and approvals and is active in more than 80 markets around the world.
Within the rail industry, Roxtec products can be found everywhere from the London Underground to Sydney’s metropolitan rail network. Its seals are used to protect people and assets wherever pipes, cables or conduits need to pass through walls, floors, foundations and bulkheads, as well as into cabinets, enclosures and junction boxes. Depending on project requirements, the firm’s sealing solutions can provide certified protection against a vast range of hazards including fire, gas, water, electromagnetic disturbance and the risk of explosion.
Rail sector growth
Roxtec, which has its UK headquarters in Bury, has a long history of supporting rail infrastructure projects around the world. In recent years the company has experienced rapid growth in both the UK and European rail sectors. In Britain, orders for new applications of Roxtec seals have been secured from Crossrail, London Bridge, London Underground and various flood defence and substation applications. Ongoing infrastructure projects with London Underground, Network Rail and High Speed 2 (HS2) have also helped underpin sector growth and resulted in new job opportunities at the firm.
Clive Sharp, Roxtec UK’s managing director, said: “Our transits are designed to cover an immense range of applications and Roxtec’s specialist teams can provide customers with a complete package of service covering design, engineering, installation training, maintenance and inspection support.”
“We have seen sustained growth in the rail sector, with increased demand for our sealing solutions across the infrastructure and rolling stock markets. By strengthening relationships with existing clients, and seeking out new opportunities to support overground and underground rail projects, we believe we are in a strong position to quadruple turnover in rail infrastructure over the next two years. We have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline and are determined to sustain that momentum throughout 2021 and beyond.”
Recent key projects include the delivery of multi-cable transit systems for London Underground and heavy-duty cable seal solutions for Network Rail’s London Bridge Station. The firm is involved in pioneering schemes such as Crossrail’s new Elizabeth Line for London and the South East, and the supply of cable and pipe seals for use within tunnels, substations, flood defences and signalling infrastructure as part of the UK’s HS2 project. Roxtec has also supported a number of high-profile rail infrastructure projects across Europe.
Ceneri Base Tunnel
Commissioned in late 2020, the Ceneri Base Tunnel is part of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA), created to allow more passenger and freight trains to run through the Alps, with shorter travel times. Roxtec cable transits were chosen to seal the pressure-tight control cabinets in the Ceneri Base Tunnel’s cross passages and technical niches. The cabinets protect electrical control equipment, and crucial safety and radio technologies, from dirt, moisture and heat.
Strict safety standards combined with the particularly demanding tunnel environment mean all components must be capable of handling considerable temperature differences, high humidity and extreme dust loads. Since passenger and freight trains pass through the Ceneri tunnel at speeds of up to 250 km/h, components must also be able to withstand enormous pressure and suction loads.
Air-conditioning systems, high-density switch cabinets and branch housings within the tunnel were also sealed using Roxtec modules to protect internal electrical components and ensure reliable functional integrity.
The Øresund Link
The 16km-long Øresund Link is a combined bridge and tunnel connection, providing a road and rail link between Malmö in Sweden and the Danish capital Copenhagen. The Roxtec sealing system including modules with Multidiameter was chosen to support the routing of cables and pipes along the Øresund Link and seal the many openings. Multidiameter is a Roxtec innovation designed for flexibility, using removable layers to ensure a perfect fit regardless of the size of pipes or cables being sealed. As well as providing a two-hour fire rating, the system with sealing modules must guarantee certified protection against weather and wind, and secure electromagnetic compatibility.
Trackside equipment linked to signalling and power for the railway connection is present alongside the entire Øresund Link, including the bridge and tunnel sections, and along the tracks on Peberholm island. Roxtec CF 32 transits were used to safely seal cabinets containing this equipment. Sealing solutions capable of providing electromagnetic shielding were required in some instances as Sweden and Denmark use non-compatible power grid systems.
Additional transits were installed within 10 technical rooms located in the middle of the tunnel section. These rooms contain transformers that feed power to the railway and the tunnel equipment, and are connected to the structure’s active fire protection system. Roxtec products also feature on board trains using the Øresund Link, sealing cables between engineers’ cabins and passenger areas.
Research and innovation
As well as ensuring safety and operational reliability, Roxtec seals are also designed for durability, adaptability and ease of installation, with a view to helping customers achieve maximum cost and time savings. Access to extensive research and development resources allows the company’s designers, engineers and test technicians to continually strive to refine the existing portfolio of sealing products, and find new ways of sealing cables with the added benefit of cable retention and cable management.
Mr Sharp said: “The company is proud to be playing a role in so many high-profile rail sector projects across the world. It is incredibly rewarding to know that Roxtec seals are helping to keep people safe and vital transport infrastructure operational in what are often highly demanding environments. Ongoing contracts with key clients including London Underground, Network Rail and HS2 will act as a fantastic springboard for future growth. We are determined to build on this success over the months and years ahead.”
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