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Summary of Rail Joint Types

Rail joint is sometimes called fishplate, which is a kind of connecting rail fastener, mainly used to connect two adjacent steel rails. There are lots of rail joint types, which are suitable for different types of rails, different insulation environments, and different material requirements. Different types of rail joints have slightly different materials and shapes.

As for the rail joint types, we have talked about many kinds before. For example, according to different installation methods, there are bolted rail joints, welded rail joints, and glued joints; according to different production standards, there are GB standard rail joints, BS standard rail joints, American standard rail joints. AS standard rail joints, UIC standard rail joints, etc. Today, we will introduce some other different rail joint types from different angles.

Shock Absorbing Rail Joint

Shock absorbing rail joint

The shock-absorbing rail joint is a rail joint whose outer side of the main body is raised from both ends upward, the middle section is higher than the road rolling surface, and the upper end of the overall main side is a double-slope-shaped rail joint. The basic structure of a shock-absorbing rail joint is the same as that of an ordinary rail joint, and it still maintains a strip splint structure. The side facing the steel rail maintains the shape of a double-reinforced clamping groove, and a bolt hole is arranged in the clamping groove.

Weld a piece of reinforcing iron to the top of the rail joint on the outward side of the rail. The top surface of reinforcing iron is flush with the top surface of the rail so that the outer side is less than the width of the wheel tread. This is the difference between shock-absorbing rail joint and ordinary rail joint. The shock-absorbing rail joint not only plays the role of connecting the rails, but also gradually loads the pressure on the end surface of the main side of the rail joint when the wheel approaches the seam of the rail. Therefore, the impact vibration of the wheel passing through the rail gap is reduced, and the effect of effective shock absorption is achieved. The shock absorbing rail joint has a simple structure and low cost, which can effectively ensure driving safety.

Composite Rail Joint

Composite rail jointComposite rail joint

Composite rail joint, also called integrally insulated rail joint, is made of high-performance polyurethane resin as the matrix material and glass fiber as the reinforcing material through a pultrusion process. It is another composite railway fastener made of new materials.

Material advantages of composite rail joint

  • Overall insulation, good insulation reliability.
  • Lightweight and strong.
  • It can be used in a wider temperature range and has good low temperature resistance (-55℃~85℃).
  • Low maintenance costs and high troubleshooting efficiency.

The composite rail joint can achieve the overall insulation effect due to the superior performance of its material. Composite rail joint is an innovative rail joint product made of new materials, which can completely replace the mechanically insulated rail joint and glued rail joint that are currently in service on railway operating lines. It can also fundamentally eliminate the hidden danger that the insulating tube and the insulating gasket are easily damaged, causing the "red band" of the track circuit to appear and affecting the safety of train operation.

Glued Insulated Rail Joint

Glued insulated rail jointGlued insulated rail joint

Glued insulated rail joint is a kind of high-strength rail insulated rail joint. It places rail end insulating parts at the ends of two connected rails, and the slot insulating plate is clamped on both sides of the joint. Two reinforced rail joints are installed in the grooves of the insulation board and are tightened by inserting high-strength bolts into the holes reserved for the joints.

There are two different types of insulation boards, each of which consists of seven layers. The first type of insulation board adopts a mesh glass cloth trough structure. Its first, third, fifth and seventh layers are paste insulating glue, the second and sixth layers are mesh glass cloth, and the fourth layer is thickened glass cloth. The second type of insulation board is an electric heating sheet grooved insulation board. Its first, third, fifth, and seventh layers are insulating film, the second and sixth layers are glass cloth, and the fourth layer is an electric heating sheet with holes.

Rail Expansion Joint

Rail expansion joint

The rail expansion joint is used to connect the expansion joint between two sections of rail. There are usually two types of rail joint treatment at the expansion joint: one is connected by splint or rail expansion joint, the rail uses 45° slanted joint, and the gap is 10mm. The other is connected by splicing splints that are processed according to the shape of the rail head, with a gap of 50mm.

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