In Italy there are various situations where a railway line crosses urban centres or brushes by homes and residential centres. Italian law provides for the creation of a noise reduction plan to bring the sites that are crossed by a railway line within the noise level limits laid down in national legislation.

With the construction of high-speed railway lines in Italy, noise barriers are being built along with the new infrastructure.

It was the experience gained when building the high-speed railway lines that led to the appropriate evaluation of cyclical stress induced by the transit of trains and, consequently, the phenomena induced by fatigue.

ITALFERR has therefore developed a protocol for fatigue testing to be performed on acoustic elements for noise barriers to be used along high-speed railway lines and the results of these tests showed that the sound-insulating and sound-absorbing aluminium TW115 ALV15 panels qualified, while panels in stainless steel TW115AV12 INOX were approved for use on high-speed lines.

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As for transparent panels, the polymethylmethacrylate panels with a thickness of 20 mm qualified, while those in 8+8+1.52 mm laminated tempered glass were approved for use with appropriate perimeter containment frames.

The RFI (Italian Rail Network) guidelines were revised in the light of the ITALFERR experience and now only provide for the use of:

  • Stainless steel sheet panels

  • Concrete panels

  • Laminated tempered glass panels complete with a suitable perimeter frame

This is due to the durability and mechanical strength of the materials.

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