The tram company was looking to include a safety bumper on its vehicles to protect pedestrians, car drivers and the driver and passengers of the tram in the unlikely event of a road collision.
Working alongside Supertram engineers, Integraflex Yorkshire Director Graeme Rowley designed and developed the prototype of a unique buffer, made of polyurethane rubber. This was chosen over traditional rubber bumpers, which degrade over time, resulting in sharp ripped edges that can cause damage to anything the tram comes in contact with and more harm in the case of a collision with a pedestrian. The new bumper also helps to protect the tram.
The buffers are moulded to the exact size, density and durability specified for maximum effectiveness, before being mounted on dampers and fastened to the front and back of a Supertram.
“This has been a new project for Stagecoach Supertram,” Graeme Rowley explains. “Obviously, the safety factor is paramount on a project like this, not only to pedestrians and traffic but to the operators and passengers of the tram. We are confident that this has been achieved.”
Over time, as the existing fleet of Supertrams experience wear and tear, they are being sent back to the workshop to be fitted with these new buffers. The refurbished vehicles are then put back out on the road to continue to be in service for years to come. To date, Integraflex has fitted up to 30 safety bumpers, and will continue to add this safety feature to the existing fleet of trams.
A trusted supplier of hose assemblies and other product ranges, Integraflex Yorkshire has worked on many projects that use rubber, from the silicone mouldings found on Lotus sports cars to matting for horse boxes. The company also offers a strip-cutting service for rubber and cellular (sponge) materials. Co-located with PPS Sheffield, Integraflex Yorkshire serves customers in South Yorkshire and across the region.