Field Rail Welding with the Electroslag Welding Process
The two most frequently used field rail welding processes, thermite and flash-butt, have limitations. The thermite process, though less expensive and more portable, sometimes produces welds with inclusions which can limit short term quality and long term fatigue life. Flash-butt, which produces a very high quality weld, is not as portable as thermite. SBIR solicitation 10.1 FR5 requires a new welding process that 1) produces industry quality rail welds, 2) reduces required track time, 3) reduces weld cost and 4) produces a prototype welding system that is portable and reusable.
This project proposal has two objectives: 1) make AREMA specification quality welds with the Electroslag Welding Process (ESW), and 2) fabricate and assemble the components unique to an ESW field equipment package that reduce costs and track time per weld.
Recent reported research has demonstrated that the ESW process holds promise for fulfilling the SBIR requirements. Capital equipment, materials and welding procedures have been researched and improved and will be applied to this project.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.