Field Evaluation of Improved Rail Welding Methods

Service tests of heat-affected-zone (HAZ) overlay treatments for thermite welds are being conducted by the Transportation Technology Center, Incorporated (TTCI) at the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST) in Pueblo, Colorado. Thermite weld running surfaces tend to degrade under service operating conditions, which results in additional maintenance and possible failure without intervention. This is especially true for thermite welds in high strength rails that are under heavy-axle-load (HAL) service conditions. This article presents laboratory tests and in-track observations that are being conducted in order to understand how and why thermite welds degrade. TTCI has been working with Canadian National (CN) to test HAZ overlay treatments in revenue service. The welds that FAST have accumulated 108 millon gross tons (mgt) while the welds in CN revenue service lines have accumulated from 51 to 56 mgt with no reported failures. The article discusses how HAZ treatments appear to be reducing the overall rate of thermite weld degradation.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Gutscher, Daniel
    • Mullen, Martita
  • Publication Date: 2014-4


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 14-17
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01525723
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 22 2014 11:03AM