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Rail industry

Whether it is rail vehicles for freight and passenger transport, control and safety technology or rail infrastructure: in the rail industry safety and the observe of the highest quality standards are of elementary importance. As a result, the steel components installed need to fulfil the highest standards when it comes to surface protection. To avoid damage and downtime due to corrosion, ensure constant functional efficiency and guarantee long-lasting, premium appearance of the components, in addition to high-performance corrosion protection the selected coating must also display enduringly high resistance to mechanical and chemical stress.

Your contact
Tobias Schmitz
Tel: +49 2330 9134071
Contact
Your contact
Tobias Schmitz
Tel: +49 2330 9134071
Contact

Application segments

Focus on safety and operating lifetime

In Germany alone there is over 41.000 km of rail infrastructure to manage and maintain for long-term use. Damage results directly in the blocking of sections of the railway and therefore expensive disruptions to freight and passenger transport. As a result, components used to secure rail sections, such as rail clamps and fasteners need to be provided with enduring, effective protection against corrosion, depending on where they are employed – for example when exposed to salty air at the coast. At the same time, the selected surface coatings must also offer resistance to high chemical and mechanical stress, such as stone impacts.

Requirements

  • Strict requirements to corrosion resistance (1440 h as per DIN EN ISO 9227)
  • Colouring
  • Cost reduction by sacrifice of stainless steel
  • Resistance to cleaners (acidic and alkaline)
  • No hydrogen-induced stress corrosion cracking
  • Chrome(VI)-free

Solutions

Zinc flake technology offers high-performance protection against corrosion as well as mechanical and chemical influences on rail-securing components. Consisting of a zinc flake base coat and a top coat, the systems offer very good cathodic corrosion protection with extremely thin coats. No hydrogen embrittlement occurs, which minimises the risk of sudden failure and expensive downtime for high-tensile steel components in particular. In addition, the zinc flake coatings also display high resistance to aggressive cleaning agents. This serves to ensure the long-lasting functional capability of the infrastructure components. Finally, the coating also offers an economical and constructively-beneficial alternative to standard stainless steel fasteners in the area of overhead cables.

Example components

Rail clamps

Rail clamps are used to secure rails on railway tracks. In addition to high corrosion protection performance (1440 hours as per salt spray test) the coating must also display high resistance to stone impacts. The application of coloured top coats is also often necessary.

Fasteners

Depending on conditions, fasteners need to be protected against corrosive influences with a high-performance coating. Chromium(VI)-free zinc flake technology is a good option here. The low coat thickness and possibility of individual coefficients of friction also result in good fastening properties, with resistance to alkaline and acidic cleaning agents also provided.

Ensuring function and appearance

From fasteners to sliding blocks and retaining rings: countless components are fitted in rail vehicles. Effective surface coatings are required to protect these against corrosion in the long term and hinder optical limitations in the form of red rust. In addition, exterior areas in particular require the use of a coating system that offers a high level of protection against aggressive alkaline or acid cleaning agents such as those often use in the removal of graffiti. With regard to premium appearance, the ability to enable colouring is a key requirement of the coating system.

Requirements

  • Strict requirements to corrosion resistance (1440 h as per DIN EN ISO 9227)
  • Resistance to cleaners (acidic and alkaline)
  • Trueness to gauge (set coefficient of friction)
  • No hydrogen-induced stress corrosion cracking
  • Chrome(VI)-free

Solutions

To counter the formation of corrosion, steel components in the interior and exterior areas of rail vehicles are mostly painted, powder-coated or galvanically treated. Zinc flake systems represent an economical alternative to these. These systems consist of two coats – a zinc flake base coat and an individual top coat, which can also be colour co-ordinated. The system enables a very high protection level to be achieved with even extremely thin coats. At the same time the low coat thicknesses and individually-adjustable coefficients of friction enable good fastening characteristics for fasteners. The high chemical resistance of the zinc flake coating prevents the premature failure of components as a consequence of the influence of aggressive cleaning agents. In this way the surface coating helps to extend the vehicle lifetime and ensure function.

Example components

Fasteners

Depending on application, the fasteners employed must be coated with a chromium (VI)-free corrosion protection of 480 -1440 hours as per the salt spray test. At the same time, the coating must ensure good fastening characteristics and long-term resistance to all alkaline and acidic cleaning agents.

Sliding blocks

Sliding blocks secure a bearing in the groove for bolts and are generally made from stainless steel. Coating with a special top coat enables the required coefficients of friction and excellent fastening characteristics to be achieved.

Retaining rings

Retaining rings are used in rail vehicles in many different dimensions and designs secure screwed connections against breakaway via clamping force rather than friction. They are required to have high corrosion protection performance (720 hours as per salt spray test).

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