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Morgan Advanced Material: Arc protection system for current collector strips

Morgan Advanced Materials recently unveiled a new lighter weight, metalized current collector strip (pantograph), offered by its Electrical Carbon business, that enhances rail system reliability and extends service life by about 35 percent, the company says. The new collector strips feature an arc protection system, which maximizes collector strip life, reducing maintenance and running costs for rail contractors. The system also provides improved service for passengers, since the collector strips require less frequent replacement, reducing downtime.

The collector strips are the latest addition to Morgan’s line of performance carbon and metalized carbon current collector strips for pantograph and third-rail applications. The comprehensive range of collectors includes products suitable for overhead, third rail and trolley bus shoes in transportation applications, including metro systems, high-speed trains, trams and trolley buses.

The collector strips are based on proprietary material technology that enables the strip’s width to be increased by 40 percent, from 30 millimeters to 42 millimeters. An engineered coating applied to the metal, the arc protection system draws any arcing to the carbon strip. This makes the strips ideal for running in wet weather or icy conditions, when a buildup of ice on overhead rail lines creates a barrier to power transfer and may cause localized overheating of the metal support carrier, the company says. Without arc protection, collector strips must often be replaced before the carbon has fully worn.

The new collectors join a line of Morgan products designed, engineered and manufactured for mainline railway systems, including self-supporting carbon collector strips that feature epoxy bonding of carbon to aluminum. These self-supporting carbon collector strips reduce pan head mass, improve dynamic response, and reduce maintenance and service costs.