Advanced urban transport system in Zurich relies on Alcan lightweight technology
Alcan Extruded Products, part of Alcan Engineered Products – a business unit of Rio Tinto Alcan – is pleased to announce the total order of 88 units for the production of car body shells for the Cobra tram. Following the successful four-year development phase and testing of six pilot units of the 37-metre long vehicles, the tram units are scheduled to be delivered to the Zurich Public Transport Authorities in Switzerland by mid-2009.
“We are very proud that our company was able to make such a substantial contribution to the development and design of the popular articulated low-floor trams winding through the streets of Switzerland’s largest city”, said Reinhard Fleer, president, Alcan Extruded Products. “This important supply contract clearly demonstrates the rail vehicle builders’ confidence in our advanced light weighting technologies that have made us a market leader all over the globe”, he added. The tailor-made hybrid structure of the Cobra, developed by Alcan Extruded Products for the railcar manufacturer includes high-performance aluminium extrusions, aluminium panels, sandwich floor and roof structures as well as the three-dimensionally shaped sidewalls and cockpits made from fibre-reinforced resin at the vehicle’s front and rear ends. To operators, the Cobra high-tech solution also offers a great number of advantages in terms of economics, sustainability and reduced consumption of resources. The considerable weight-saving due to the use of aluminium and composite materials will result in less electricity consumption. Major benefits to passengers, apart from the comfortable low-floor entrances, are increased safety as well as improved temperature and acoustic insulation due to the sandwich materials used. The innovative anti-climber design of the Cobra’s front and rear cabin, developed in close cooperation with experts from the insurance industry, minimizes the result of an impact in the case of a collision with pedestrians. Alcan Extruded Products is a key player in Europe with a focus on specialty products for the mass transport sector. It includes production facilities in France, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.