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Our Hot-sale Products of Steel Rail: UIC54 and UIC60 Rails

UIC54 and UIC60 rails
Our hot-sale products: UIC rails 

The standard rail types of International Union of Railways (UIC for short) always start with the letters of UIC. And the standard rails recommended by UIC mainly include UIC54 rail and UIC60 rail. Two types of steel rails are characteristic of thicker rail head and medium wide rail foot. Because thicker rail head is wear resistant, the rail has a long service life and is suitable for frequent railway system. In addition, the wider rail foot can provide enough bearing area for rail sleeper or rail pad, and at the same time make the rail itself more stable.  

Next, we can find the details of UIC rails from the below Table 1
Table 1 Specifications of UIC rails 

Model UIC60 UIC54 BS90A
Unit Weight 60.34 kg/m 54.43 kg/m 90.76 lb/yd
Sectional Area 7686mm2 6934mm2 5735mm2
Height 172mm 159mm 142.8mm
Width (rail bottom) 150mm 140mm 127mm
Width (rail head) 72mm 70mm 66.7mm
Thickness of rail head 51mm 49.4mm 46.04mm

All modern rails are made of hot-rolled steel with a cross section. They are approximate to an I-beam shape, and asymmetric about a horizontal axis. The rail head is shaped to be wear resistant and to give a good ride, and the rail foot can be suitable for rail fastening system.

The I-beam section rail

The I-beam section rail is a great invention in railway history. The original purpose that steel rail was made into I-beam shape is to facilitate its long time use. At the early period, the rail is symmetric about a horizontal axis. That is to say, rail head is the same with rail foot. Therefore, as rail head was damaged due to the wear, people planned to make the rail get turned upside down instead of replace it with new one in order to save costs. However, later on people found that rail foot was also damaged due to the friction with rail sleeper as rail head was badly worn by train wheels. Then after multiple improvements, The I-beam design still retains, but rail shape has become asymmetric about a horizontal axis. To be specific, rail head is relatively shorter but rail foot is longer. Why don’t people abandon basic I-beam shape design? The reason is that the design can withstand more pressure.

Why can the I-beam section rail bear heavy pressure?

Let’s get to know it from three figures. First, we draw A, B, and C straight lines on a rubber. The three lines represent the upper, middle, and lower three parts of a steel rail (Fig.1)

steel rail structures

Then we make the rubber bend to simulate the pressure of a train passing the rail (Fig.2). Now, we can see that A line gets shorter, C line gets longer, but B line length is not changed much. Therefore, we understand that when a rail bears the pressure, the upper and lower parts of the rail need to bear the largest force. So in the rail design, steel material should be concentrated in the upper and lower parts as much as possible. The middle part bears the least pressure, so we can use less steel. A rail is can withstand heavy weight by this special design. (Fig.3)

Other requirements 

Rail surface (Also named running surface) must be of sufficient width, and make the wheel surface and rail surface have the most effective contact and minimize the pressure on the surface. 
Rail web and rail base shall be of sufficient thickness so as to be able to load train weight. And we shall consider leaving reasonable wear for them to be against their corrosion. Rail shall have proper transverse resisting moment in order to resist the lateral thrust. The gravity center of a rail shall be near to its height center to keep balance. Similarly, the difference between rail height and the base width shall be not too big in order to prevent the overturn. In order to make wheels run easily and ensure even distribution of the stress in the rail section, all corner sections shall be rounded and used larger radius as far as possible.

The inward tilted rail

With help of our careful observation, we will find that two rails on rail track are slightly tilted inwards. It is as shown below:
The inward tilted rail
As we know, the wheel surface of a train is tilted. The inward tilted rail can just make its top surface perpendicular to wheel flange each other. Its advantage is that the downward pressure of the wheel can be vertically transmitted to rail with no inward tilt toward the rail under rail pressure. Rail stress is located in the center of rail, which makes side wear not focus on one side of the track and thereby increases the service life.

Long rail

1. Advantages of long rail

  • A. to reduce the vibration and wear of the track when the train passes through the rail joint so as to make the driving more smoothly;
  • B. to reduce train noise;
  • C. the running resistance of the train can be reduced by about 5%. 
  • D. to reduce the sub-grade subsidence caused by frequent traffic;
  • E. no rail joints can reduce maintenance costs. 

2. Welding method of long rail

Most of people think that the expansion and contraction of the rail is normal phenomenon, and rail gap between two rails must be kept to avoid it. So if the rails are welded together, won’t this be dangerous? The answer is a denial. 

No matter how long a long rail is, even if its length is beyond 200m, the length of the expansion and contraction is equivalent to 200m long rail.  Don't believe it? We can do the following experiment:
Two rubber rings are cut and nailed to small wood pieces, then put the model on a piece of sandpaper, as shown below:
Welding method of long rail
Welding method of long rail
In this experiment, wood pieces stand for wood sleepers, rubber rings rails and sandpaper ballast. 
Then we will pull the "tracks" to both sides. Please observe carefully, only wood pieces at the head and end parts are pulled open, and the ones at the middle part remain unchanged.

Now we will try to make the "track" be pulled open in the air, and then take it back to the sandpaper to make it freely shrink. The result is only wood pieces at the head and end parts get closer, as shown below:
Welding method of long rail
The above experiments have shown that in a long rail, no matter how long it is, only wood sleepers at the head and end parts are retractable. In other words, as long as we can handle the stretching of both ends of the long rail, we are not afraid of how long it is.

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