FSW Win with TroBord!
At the event at the London Hilton Hotel, Philip Forrest Smith collected the award from TV star Dara O’Brian for Best Industrial Product Design. The product, a revolutionary blow moulded ballast board for the rail industry, was designed for Trojan Services Ltd and looks to replace the current offering constructed from concrete.
Trojan Services Limited (TSL) specialise in marketing innovative products for the rail industry and other civil engineering applications. TSL commissioned FSW Design Limited to work on a specific problem they had identified. Currently 1.8 metre long concrete ballast boards retain ballast, which is used at the side of a railway line. These are held in place by steel posts, which are either piled or set into concrete foundations. The ballast boards are exceptionally heavy and consequently very difficult for contractors to manoeuvre into position and install. TSL set FSW Design the challenge of designing a unique ballast board, which would be lightweight, simple to transport and install, but still meet the rail industries functional criteria.
The key objective of the design development programme was to identify suitable materials and manufacturing processes. It was important that the finished product could be made in appropriate volumes to meet the demands of the market and at a price that was competitive with existing concrete boards.
After detailed research and drawing on knowledge from previous projects, blow moulding was identified as an appropriate route for manufacture. Because blow moulding is a low-pressure process we were able to produce inherently durable components with limited in built stresses created by the manufacturing process. We, also, were able to repeatedly produce a double skinned moulding which had numerous kiss off faces linking the inner and outer skins to increase strength and rigidity.
The final product is a completely unique ballast board system branded TroBord and manufactured in recycled HDPE. It is lightweight and can be produced competitively at high volume. Each board has interlocking features so that one board can be connected to the next creating a rigid structure. The board is flexible in design so that it can use existing fixings or be specified with extruded composite polypropylene wood fibre posts. The product is fully recyclable and has the environmental benefit of replacing large volumes of concrete. TroBord has proved a huge success with the rail industry and solves the current health and safety issues created by concrete ballast boards.