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RM Rail has certified the first aluminum alloy rail car in Russia

02/02/2017

RM Rail has certified the Russia’s first aluminum alloy hopper car.

RM Rail has certified the first aluminum bodied hopper car in Russia. The right to its serial production is obtained in accordance with the technical regulations of the Customs Union.

The hopper car was developed jointly with RUSAL and Arconic SMZ (former Alcoa SMZ). Its load capacity is increased to 79 tons (3-8 tons higher than that of competitor’s products), body cubic capacity is raised to 109 m3. Owing to the balance between these characteristics, average transportation savings per ton of freight amounts to about 10%.

Aluminum body of the car is entirely made of alloy 1565ch (Al-Mg system) developed and patented by Arconic SMZ in conjunction with Central Research Institute of Structural Materials “Prometey” and NII STALI research institute. Weldable alloy 1565ch is a multifunctional material offering an optimal combination of strength and ductility. Through resistance to corrosive media, it provides transportation of fertilizers, soda ash, cement and more than 50 other types of cargo.

Individual components (covers, handles, ladders) are made of steel to ensure vandal-proof make. Payload to tare weight ratio is 0.26, or 14% less than that of competitive models. Service life of the rail car is 32 years. The design includes the use of innovative 25 tf axle load bogie.

Pavel Ovchinnikov, Chief Executive Officer, RM Rail:

- This is, by definition, a historic event that we, as well as the industry in whole, were looking forward to. For a number of years, Russian railcar builders attempted to work with aluminum, but we, together with our partners - companies RUSAL and Arconic SMZ - were the only who managed to integrate industry best practices and make a really innovative car where both body and bogie meet world standards. As a result of this scrupulous joint work, all first article tests were passed successfully and challengers’ doubts about strength, steel-aluminum interaction during operation were dispelled. Already at the stage of development works customers revealed their interest in the new model, primarily due to improved technical characteristics of the hopper that make its use long-term and profitable.  Our nearest plans are to hand over 70 hopper cars for trial operation to our partners and continue developing other types of rolling stock made of aluminum alloys.

Roman Andryushin, Head of Russia and CIS Sales, RUSAL:

- Aluminum hopper is a unique car type for the Russian railways offering a number of advantages that will be highly rated by freight forwarders. RUSAL does not stop there, and together with its partners is working on development of aluminum bodied gondola and rail tank car. At the moment, we are in the process of preparing project business cases and developing market entry strategies.

Maxim Smirnov, President, Arconic Russia:

- We are excited to be, along with our partners, among the pioneers introducing revolutionary changes in railcar design. The alloy developed by the specialists of Samara plant and innovative materials based on it are examples of breakthrough products for which customers come to us when they need engineering solutions to the challenging problems.

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