Railcar and Rail Application Gaskets

Passenger and freight rail applications have significant sealing needs. Tanker railcars require gaskets to seal manways, while passenger railcars have numerous sealing needs ranging from side wall and ceiling liners, door and window seals, and gap seals, to name a few. To perform effectively, railcar and rail application gaskets must be made from specialty materials especially formulated to withstand the rigors and challenges of rail transportation.

Railcar manway gaskets

Rail tanker cars usually have a manway (or manhole) situated on the top surface which provides access to the interior of the car. Since 2016, railway and governmental authorities in the USA and Canada have been working to reduce the volume and severity of unintentional leaks from railcars – so-called non-accidental releases, or NAR’s. According to 2012 data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR), about 46 percent of NAR’s involve a tanker car’s manway system, whose lid is usually sealed with a gasket and a number of bolts.

Reducing NAR’s for railcar manways requires using gaskets which can withstand exposure to the elements, the material being transported, and the vibration and stresses associated with rail transport. In addition, the correct procedures for closing and torqueing manway lids should always be followed by railroad operating personnel.

The material used to fabricate a railcar manway gasket must be chosen carefully. The finished gasket must also be sized correctly. Because of their location, these gaskets are exposed to temperature extremes, UV light, and moisture. Most importantly, railcar manway gaskets must be capable of resisting chemical attack from the fluids that are often carried within tanker cars. CRG supplies railcar manway gaskets that can service the following types of material transports:

  • General applications

  • Crude oil transport

  • Ethanol transport

  • Aggressive and toxic materials transport

  • Food-grade cargoes

Passenger rail application gaskets and sealing solutions

Gaskets and seals are used on passenger railcars to keep the elements out and enhance rider comfort and experience. Not only must these gaskets provide an effective barrier to moisture and the elements, they also contribute to isolating and damping vibrations as well as supporting acoustic blocking and absorption. Rail application gaskets also contribute to EMI/RFI protection and assuring rider safety through conformance to applicable regulations and standards for flame, smoke and toxicity.

The increase in commuter rail system builds has created a heightened demand for gaskets and seals manufactured from the latest sealing materials. Key objectives in rail application gasket sourcing for many transit authorities are the following:

  • The need to have sealing solutions which are cost-effective without compromising passenger safety and comfort. Compliance with applicable regulations and standards is a given.

  • The need to reduce maintenance interventions due to poor seal quality or performance. Increasingly, buyers are focusing on the total lifecycle cost of a sealing solution, rather than just minimizing the acquisition costs.

  • Passenger rail cars are made of a number of complex systems and components that must work well together under demanding conditions. Buyers are looking for multi-functional sealing solutions that work well with other system components and which prevent catastrophic system failures.

CRG supplies a variety of sealing solutions for passenger rail applications including the following:

  • Gaskets and seals for exterior applications

  • Interior seals and gaskets

  • Gap fillers

  • Insulation

  • NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) parts

  • EMI/RFI gaskets and shielding solutions

CRG designs and fabricates rail application sealing solutions using a variety of materials, including elastomers (including silicones), cellular foams and sponges, plastics, composites, and more. We are quality assured to ISO 9001:2015 and we offer our customers complete material certification and traceability. All railcar and rail application gaskets and seals we supply are manufactured using materials from leading producers, together with the latest CNC production equipment.

To find out more about how CRG can help with your rail application sealing needs, please contact us directly at crg@canadarubbergroup.com.