Flushed with success

Aluminium helps Hydro customer PCC deliver its new wheelchair-friendly “Comfort Zone” sanitary solution for UK trains.

January 21, 2013

When the European Union introduced new rules for rail services for people with reduced mobility, PCC (Phenolic Ltd.) of Wales saw a natural opportunity.

PCC’s “Comfort Zone” toilet with aluminium extrusions from Hydro provides a solution that is light weight, yet strong, and compact.

Although the PCC toilet boasts the smallest footprint available, it also encompasses a 1,500-mm internal wheelchair turning circle.

“An advantage of such a small footprint is that less seats are lost from the original train layout when the refit is carried out which obviously has a cost benefit,” explains PCC managing director Mark Isaac.

The “Comfort Zone” toilet can either be supplied pre-built, or flat-packed for easy installation into existing rolling stock. Other toilet modules in the market are supplied ready assembled and need to be dismantled before installation. 

The original design was modified as a result of product tests. 

“We set out with the idea that it had to be right for both the rail operator AND the rail passenger, so the original prototype has already been given a makeover,” says production support engineer Sam Murcutt.

“We brought in a top design team to create a clean, fresh and modern feel about the unit as well adding additional facilities.”

Each toilet module consists of nine aluminium extrusions to support the phenolic glass composite panels and aluminium honeycomb walls.

Hydro’s aluminium extrusion plant in Bedwas, Wales, provided mill finished extrusions for the toilet modules, which are finished with a powder coating.

“We wanted to source materials for the product as locally as possible and via the Internet we found that we had an aluminium extrusion company on our doorstep,” says Issac. 

“We were very pleased with the quality of the extrusions, as well as the service that we were given. “

Time was of the essence and Hydro’s sales manager, Jim Purnell, “made sure our very short timescales were met, which was a big help.”


Updated: October 11, 2016