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News

High strength steels makes railway transport lighter

SSAB Tunnpl : 11 July, 2001  (New Product)
Up to 25 per cent lighter railway carriages, a dream which will soon be reality according to steel manufacturer SSAB Swedish Steel, which is now introducing a new materials concept for railway carriages. Through the use of extra and ultra high strength steels and design ideas from the automobile industry, weight can be reduced without the carriages losing stability. To haulage firms, this means that the load capacity can be increased considerably without exceeding weight limits. This new concept will be presented at Nordic Rail, the international trade fair which will be held at Elmia in Sweden 2 to 4 October 2001.
Up to 25 per cent lighter railway carriages, a dream which will soon be reality according to steel manufacturer SSAB Swedish Steel, which is now introducing a new materials concept for railway carriages. Through the use of extra and ultra high strength steels and design ideas from the automobile industry, weight can be reduced without the carriages losing stability. To haulage firms, this means that the load capacity can be increased considerably without exceeding weight limits. This new concept will be presented at Nordic Rail, the international trade fair which will be held at Elmia in Sweden 2 to 4 October 2001.

Lower total costs, less environmental impact and greater capacity utilisation are the three advantages that SSAB Swedish Steel emphasises when presenting its concept of high strength steel railway carriages. Within the automobile industry, high strength steels have become commonplace, and now these materials are being introduced in trains.

'Railway carriage frame weight can be reduced by 25 per cent,' explains Göran Uhlin, who is in charge of introducing high strength steels to railway carriages at SSAB Swedish Steel. 'The weight that is saved can be redistributed in the form of increased load capacity.'

Even the carriage superstructure can become much lighter with the use of high strength steels, and the company has a series of new types of steel which can be combined depending on the intended loading for the carriage structure.

According to SSAB's calculations, the dead weight can be reduced by several tonnes, and in one modest calculation, a 10 per cent weight reduction would result in a carriage weighing two tonnes less. This means that haulage firms can increase the payload by an equivalent amount, resulting in a direct profit of up to SEK 200,000. The investment is so worthwhile that scrapping existing carriages earlier pays off. This increases profitability,' says Göran Uhlin.

The reduced dead weight also pays off in the form of saved energy costs, lower maintenance costs and improved carriage/train length efficiency. 'In this way, railway transport becomes more competitive, and it will also be beneficial in several other areas since this opens the door to less wear and tear on the road network,' says Göran Uhlin.

The concept of high strength steels in railway carriages introduced by SSAB Swedish Steel is based on hot-rolled Domex steel with a yield strength of up to 750 N/mm2 as well as cold-reduced Docol steel with a tensile strength of up to 1400 N/mm2.
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