Pantograph carbon strips current collector

Leading manufacturer of carbon contact strips for pantograph rail systems

Mersen offers a large range of pantograph contact strips for electrical current collection for AC and DC networks. Our experts select the most appropriate grade made of pure or impregnated carbon based on the characteristics of your operations.

By using carbon contact strips instead of metal ones, the lifetime of the catenary wire is greatly extended, reducing the maintenance costs of the infrastructure. The weight on the top of the pantograph is also reduced, allowing a more stable current collection and, therefore, improving the operations. Carbon contact strips can be used in all conditions (weather, current, speed…) and can be adapted to any kind of pantograph head.

The pure carbon is dedicated to 25kV and 15kV networks where currents are low. This Mersen grade was engineered to respect the overhead wire thanks to a low coefficient of friction. 

Lately, Mersen has developed several copper impregnated grades specifically for high current applications, following the increase of current demand of the DC trains. This development was made possible by Mersen’s participation to the 2007 world rail speed record; the French high-speed train was powered through a single Mersen’s pantograph carbon contact strip. By optimizing the copper content, the impregnated carbon grades combine a low density with a low resistivity. These characteristics lead to low temperature profiles in use and, therefore, to a longer lifetime of contact strips.

On demand, our experts can evaluate the performances of your products, evaluate their conformities with the international regulations and offer you optimized solutions to enhance your operations.

Advantages of Mersen's Carbon contact strips for pantograph

The current collection solutions made by Mersen combine the performances of the carbon, a unique material for sliding contacts, with the reliability of fully mastered assembly processes. Their effectiveness is assessed regularly through the homologation of processes and products by external parties and demonstrated regularly on the field. 


  • Reliability and safety in operation (ADD - Auto Drop Device…)
  • Longer life time of the contact strip and catenary wire
  • Good electrical load capacity (demanded by high current applications)
  • Environmentally friendly solutions
  • Easy to maintain solutions
  • DIN6701 bonded assemblies
  • EN50405, IEC62499 and TSI (Technical Specification of Interoperability)-proven products

Mersen carbon grades for contact strips

The carbon grades made by Mersen were specifically developed for this application, tested in laboratory, and then approved on the field. They are available worldwide. Contact our experts to get an insight about their performances.


  • Carbon materials tailored for pantograph current collection
  • Plain and low-weight impregnated carbons
  • Lead-free carbon materials (pure or copper-impregnated)
  • Lubricating power
  • EN45545 fire and smoke-proven behaviour

Grades for high-current applications

Mersen has developed a wide range of carbon grades to meet even the most demanding operating conditions, in particular since the current to be collected in DC applications has become higher and higher. In order to keep a low temperature behaviour of the contact strip and the catenary wire, Mersen engineered new grades optimizing the copper impregnation to get outstanding performances while keeping a low weight.
Working with universities and laboratories, Mersen created the P2805 and P3210, which are the leading grades in their categories, offering remarkable performances for such demanding applications and respecting the infrastructure. Operators all over the world take advantage of the low wear rate of these grades as well as the low temperatures in use at standstill and when moving, reducing the need for maintenance.
These grades are available for DC and AC applications, low and high-speed ones and are TSI-compliant.
All our grades meet the worldwide environmental requirements and Mersen provides the required safety notices on request.
Contact our experts for more information.

Contact strips designs

Mersen can offer all kind of designs from the very simple crimped contact strip to the more complex bonded one. Several options are available to customize the product to your needs. Our experts can guide you in the selection and the design of the most suited contact strip for your applications.

  • Standard or Kasperowski designs
  • Welded, bonded, and/or crimped
  • Sheaths in aluminum, copper or steel
  • Diverse options of design (ADD, integrated horns…)

Applications of contact strips

Mersen contact strips can be used for all types of application: the whole range of voltages, from low to very high currents and speeds. Even for the most challenging applications, Mersen has the solution to power your train safely and efficiently.

  • Railways (electric locomotives for passengers or freight, Electrical Multiple Units)
  • Transit systems (light rail, tramways, some metros)


USA, NJ - Boonton

Sales & Engineering

400 Myrtle Avenue
07005 Boonton, NJ

T: +1 800 526 0877

F: +1 973 334 6394

Brazil - São Paulo

Sales & Engineering

Av. Jabaquara, 3060
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Bairro Mirandópolis
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T: +55 11 2348-2360

France - Amiens

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F-80084 Amiens

T: +33 (0)3 22 54 45 00

India - Bangalore

Sales & Engineering

No 5 Bommasandra Industrial Area
Annekal Taluk
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T: +91 803 094 6121

F: +91 803 094 6130

China - Pudong

碳刷, 刷架, 滑环组件, 工业受流 电机和发电机的电气解决方案

201323 Shanghai

T: +86 21 58106360

F: +86 21 58106356

Horn pantograph strip

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