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RM Rail’s innovative aluminum hopper car approved for running tests

RM Rail, a leading freight rolling stock manufacturer in Russia, has received approval for running tests of model 19-1299 innovative mineral hopper made of aluminum alloys.

The body of the new modification 19-1299 hopper car is made of aluminum alloy 1581, developed by the Institute of Light Materials and Technologies (ILMiT). Compared to model 19-1244 certified in 2017, the load capacity of the new generation hopper car has been increased to 79 tons, and the volume of the body is 111 cubic meters. Alloy 1581 is distinguished by a 35% higher strength with the same density plus enhanced corrosion resistance behavior.

Aluminum hopper cars are manufactured using domestic materials, components and processes, including friction stir welding (FSW). Structurally similar elements have passed the appropriate artificial aging tests and have proven their viability and durability. This has made it possible to increase the hopper service life up to 40 years.

Running tests are one of the main steps in developing a rail car design and evaluating its strength performance, when the vehicle travel smoothness, dynamic forces acting on the elements of the vehicle and the railway track, the strength and reliability of the vehicle in long-term operation, as well as a number of other general dynamic indicators are checked. The acceptance test results define the rail car operational suitability.

Hopper 19-1299 will be the first in a series of aluminum freight cars. The production of a prototype tank car for transportation of concentrated nitric acid (a service life of 40 years) is in its closing phase.

In 2023, an LNG ISO tank container with an aluminum alloy inner vessel will be put into serial production. To this end, Ruzkhimmash site (part of RM Rail) already started to build a new small-batch line for production of cryogenic and aluminum alloy tanks. In terms of its capabilities, the line is on a par with similar production facilities in Russia.

Sergey Drobzhev, RM Rail Technical Development Director:

- Aluminum alloy is inert to many cargoes detrimental to steel rolling stock. It provides maximum protection against corrosive cargoes such as mineral fertilizers, soda ash, cement and others. We associate future evolution of freight car manufacturing with aluminum alloys. This type of hopper car is a next step in terms of design improvement.

03/24/2022 All news