Department of Materials


7 Aug 2019

Loughborough University’s Department of Materials partner with world’s largest railway rolling-stock manufacturer

CRRC Partnership

Senior executives from CRRC-Haitai in China visited Loughborough University’s Department of Materials earlier this month to establish a joint research programme focused on brake systems for high-speed trains.

The research partnership aims to improve the performance of materials for performance brake applications which will be more effective, durable and lighter.

Advanced Friction Materials is a key research area that Loughborough University's Department of Materials has been involved with since 2007, through collaborating with many car makers and their component suppliers. Now research in this area has moved forward by cooperating with a leading braking system supplier of high speed trains in CRRC. The CRRC-Haitai Loughborough University Advanced Friction Materials Research and Development Centre has recently opened formally in the Department of Materials.  

Dr Houzheng Wu will be the lead representative for the University in this new endeavour, and the team at Loughborough will work directly with Haitai - a subsidiary of CRRC - who are the leading brake system supplier for high-speed trains in China.

During their visit, the executives met with academics from the Dynamics and Control Systems Research Groups and toured facilities to explore opportunities for collaborations, including the Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre and the Advanced Friction Materials Laboratory.

Mr Rui Zhou, the General Manager from Haitai said: “We have been very impressed by the research expertise and understanding about advanced composites at the Department of Materials, and we are excited about this new joint activity to research and develop materials for friction brakes that will be used in the rail industry.”

Professor Gary Page, Associate Dean for Research in the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering, added: “We are delighted to be working with CRRC-Haitai. This initiative is an excellent example of the way that Loughborough University works with world-leading industrial partners to carry out fundamental research with significant technological development potential and for application, in this case, across the rail sector.”

Talks are now underway to establish a CRRC-Haitai Loughborough University Advanced Friction Material Research and Development Centre, with the aspiration confirmed at a programme opening ceremony when a plaque was unveiled within the School to mark the start of this important new relationship.