Spain exports state of the art railway track
The plant at ArcelorMittal in Asturias has designed its own technology aimed at manufacturing state of the art railway track that is more resistant than the conventional one. This initiative has been thanks to the work of the rail plant in Asturias and Global R&D Asturias. With this new technique, added value is given to the railway track during manufacture, by substituting costly alloys with a process of controlled cooling and improving the properties of the micro-structure of the steel.
Whilst the two manufacturers and leading world competitors of this type of rail track to date, Japan and Austria, use the same fine compressed air and a patented polymer respectively, in Spain only water is used.
The crux of this Spanish process is in cooling at different degrees and rates all the parts of the rail track, in such a way that not only a certain superficial hardness is achieved, but also a map of internal hardness that allow the part’s resistance to be guaranteed in the most demanding conditions.
The plant in Asturias has become the only facility in the world that has manufactured more than 60,000 tons of this product in 2012, which has allowed it to enter new international markets.
To undertake the design and start up of production, ArcelorMittal involved mainly Spanish companies in the construction (Dragados, Daorje, TSK, Ingemas and laguna Artea). It also had the cooperation of the mechanical engineering company Imasa, the electrical engineering company Ensilectric, the technological centre for materials of Asturias – ITMA Material Technology- and several research groups at the University of Oviedo.
ArcelorMittal has awarded the Spanish project the annual award for continuous improvement in the “Top Line Growth” category.
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