How Interflon supports Network Rail to maintain more than 320000 km of track

Industry

Rail

A new revolution in rail maintenance

Never has it been more important for the rail industry to look at new ways to reduce operational costs, while becoming more reliable in transportation schemes. This poses challenges for rail networks worldwide.

Rail switch components are exposed to extreme and promptly changing weather conditions. Interacting forces between rails and wheels cause lateral creep forces and operating pressures that often exceed the lubricating capabilities of conventional lubricants. As a result, most points experience serious damage from wear and require frequent re-lubrication.

Some examples of applications in rail

Network Rail

Network Rails owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure and maintains more than 32000 km of track.

Interflon supports Network Rail in the track maintenance. Neil Denton: "Thanks to the right advice and use of Interflon products, the time required for maintenance is greatly reduced whilst the asset performance has been significantly improved. The results are impressive."

Revolutionised fishplate lubrication without dismantling

The steel rail expands and contracts due to variations in temperatures; the rail reaches a critical temperature before expansion occurs. To accommodate for this, a 6 mm gap is left between the two rail ends. Joints become stiff due to corrosion, old grease or over-tightened bolts. If the joint is stuck or too stiff, the track gauge will naturally widen. Recent independent laboratory testing undertaken by our rail clients has shown that their traditional greasing practices can in fact cause joints to become much stiffer than they had originally thought!

Interflon Lube EP has revolutionised the lubrication and performance of fishplates and breathers, as it is able to penetrate into all the joints without the need to dismantle them. For some regions this means months of maintenance time are saved. Once the Lube EP has penetrated, it provides a long-lasting low-friction coating, improving the joint performance and reducing the friction by as much as 91 percent.

Tag: Interflon Lube EP

Slide chairs maintained in significantly less time

Conventional lubricants tend to be applied in larger quantities and more frequently. They are often sticky, introducing dirt and contaminants to the surrounding equipment. This can hinder the visual inspection of the slide chairs for defects.

With Interflon Lube EP track maintenance engineers can achieve four to six weekly re-applications to switch slide chairs using only 4 ml of lubricant. This lubricant has been proven to reduce component friction and energy when throwing a switch by as much as 50 percent. There is no need to throw the switch when re-lubricating. For efficiency and worker safety, Interflon is applied from a special backpack while the worker is standing upright - thus significantly less time is spent on the track. Moreover, its dry-coating technology reduces contamination and prevents ice adhesion in winter.

Transparent coating which allows continuous inspection of switch tips

Traditional switch tip lubrication to prevent wheel climb requires the application of “three dabs of (conventional) grease”. This method is probably best described as ‘hit and miss’ and can lead to the grease being ineffective due to drop off and lack of full coverage throughout the planed contact face of the switch rail. Grease also builds up, masking defects and cracks and preventing visual inspection of the switch gauge contact face.

Interflon Grease OG can easily be applied along the length of the switch rail using an aerosol spray. The rail is left with a hard-wearing transparent coating, which protects the rail from damage, keeps it well lubricated and allows for inspection for defects.

Tag: Interflon Grease OG