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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Bayer MaterialScience acquires marketing rights for DURFLEX®

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Bayer MaterialScience AG has acquired the worldwide marketing and usage rights for the DURFLEX® track superstructure system from Hyperion Verwaltung GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Germany. The two companies have signed an agreement to this effect. Financial details have not been disclosed. The superstructure system stabilizes the ballast stones under rail tracks, thus enabling more cost-effective railroad operation in the long term. It is based on the flexible Bayflex® polyurethane foam system from Bayer MaterialScience.

DURFLEX® was developed by Hyperion, drawing on the track-building expertise of its partner Frenzel-Bau of Freden, Germany, and in close cooperation with Bayer MaterialScience. It can be used for building new sections of track and for upgrading existing stretches.

"This innovative track construction system can be used to cut operating costs anywhere in the world," says Peter Vanacker, head of the polyurethanes segment and a member of the Executive Committee of Bayer MaterialScience. "In extending the marketing concept for this system, we want to continue our successful partnership with Hyperion, Frenzel-Bau and the other companies involved, but are also looking forward to establishing new agreements with German and international track construction companies and network operators."

Bayer MaterialScience plans to step up its investments in technology, for example, in the form of additional rail vehicles for installing DURFLEX®.  These vehicles, purpose-designed by Hennecke GmbH, use a mixing head to feed the liquid polyurethane system directly into the cavities between the ballast stones, where it expands to completely fill the spaces.

"This flexible treatment permanently prevents the stones from shifting as a result of the dynamic forces generated when a train passes over the track. It also eliminates the usual tamping work and consequent disruptions to rail services. Stabilizing the track bed in this way also means that structure-borne noise is effectively insulated at the point of origin," explains Jörg Frenzel, managing director of FRENZEL-BAU. "In this way, the system offers both economic and environmental benefits for track and train operators."

After successful trials on two test sections in Germany (one in Berlin's urban transport network and one on the main line between Hamburg and Hanover), the system was used for the first time on two sections of track in Asia at the end of 2009. These sections are shortly to be taken into regular operation for rail traffic.

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