Nickel-containing stainless steel

Nickel-containing stainless steel in high-speed trains (marketing department of Shanghai HY Industry Co., Ltd)

As the demand for public transportation around the world skyrockets, railroads are looking for new solutions to the growing challenge of how to move passengers faster than ever before. Replacing old infrastructure and building new high-speed rail is a solution to meet growing demand. In addition, reducing operating costs and energy consumption, improving passenger safety, improving the appearance of vehicles and improving ride comfort are now standard requirements, and it can reverse the bad image of public transportation. Railway companies are beginning to consider nickel-containing stainless steels in train structures to address these challenges.

1 Swedish X2000 train

Nickel-containing stainless steelIn the late 1980s, Sweden’s SJ National Railways demanded a high-speed train that would guarantee long-term safety, comfort and economy, with low maintenance costs and a long service life. For this reason, type 304 nickel-containing stainless steel (UNS S30400), which is strengthened by cold working, is the best choice for the X2000 express train’s strong frame.
The X2000 train was produced by the ABB Group and was in service between 1990 and 1998. The material of choice for the train frame is stainless steel from Outokumpu. The X2000 train is specially designed, including a tilting system and radial bogies, to reach a high speed of org200 km/h on curved tracks without compromising the comfort and safety of passengers. The frame has high flexural stiffness to reduce vibration and improve ride comfort. In addition, Type 304 stainless steel also has excellent impact resistance, thereby improving passenger safety. Trains mainly operate between major cities such as Stockholm, Copenhagen and Gothenburg.
After a detailed life cycle analysis, ABB Group decided to use stainless steel as the frame material. Through calculations, it was found that stainless steel is lighter, safer and more economical than aluminum steel or carbon steel in the long run. For example, each train can save about SEK 100,000 in maintenance costs over 30 years; compared to carbon steel, each train is about 20% lighter. The lighter body means less energy is required to drive the train, resulting in significant energy savings: around 800,000 kWh of energy per train over 30 years.
After two decades of operation, the trains are undergoing comprehensive technical and internal upgrades. But the original stainless steel frame is in perfect condition and is expected to last another twenty years. Through the X2000 upgrade program, the entire fleet is expected to be back in operation by 2018 with greater reliability and comfort. This application highlights the importance of considering the life cycle perspective when selecting materials, considering cost and environmental impact and selecting the appropriate grade of stainless steel is a proven approach.

2 India’s high-speed train LHB carriages

Indian Railways is the world’s largest single-ownership railway network, sustaining the lifeblood of the country, with more than 1 billion tons of freight transported annually and more than 23 million daily passengers. The company has about 250,000 freight cars and nearly 70,000 passenger cars. As India’s economy grows, Indian Railways faces the difficult task of meeting the growing demand for transport with limited capacity on routes and hubs. While plans are underway to introduce high-speed trains to ease congestion on the existing network, passenger safety is still the primary consideration in the design and material selection of passenger compartment boxes. In such a large rail network, which has seen multiple fatal accidents over the past few decades, calls for improved structural design and “crash-proof” passenger carriages made of superior materials are discussed, and each time a major accident occurs, the discussion grows fierce.

Ideally, in the event of a vehicle collision, the passenger should be restrained in a rigid safety structure by seat belts to avoid serious injury. Today’s cars all use this design. The passenger compartment is a secure, rigid compartment with crumple zones in the front and rear of the vehicle that can be indented to absorb impact energy. Indian Railways is well aware of the importance of nickel-containing stainless steel for improving the structure of passenger cars and improving passenger safety, and introduced LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) passenger cars from Germany in 2001.

Austenitic stainless steels are used in LHB design for roofs and trough decks with a high probability of corrosion

The LHB passenger carriages made of stainless steel are reported to have more built-in safety features as they absorb the shock and shock of derailment more effectively and are less prone to overturning when the train derails, thus reducing the number of casualties in an accident. Type 304 (UNS S3040) stainless steel is used for roofs and channel decks where there is a high probability of corrosion. Type 316L (UNS S3160) stainless steel is the material of choice for cisterns and biodegradable toilet containers. Each passenger car uses about 10-11 tons of stainless steel, of which 40% is austenitic stainless steel.
In 2016, Indian Railways planned to put 4,000 LHB passenger cars in India, and then announced at the Indian Railways Congress that it plans to completely switch to LHB passenger cars by 2018. The decision of Indian Railways to speed up the process of completely replacing steel passenger cars with nickel-containing stainless steel passenger cars to ensure passenger safety will undoubtedly greatly promote the use of nickel-containing stainless steel in India.

Shanghai HY Industry Co., Ltd has international first-class material production equipment such as high temperature alloy isothermal forging production line, CONSARC vacuum melting furnace, VAR vacuum arc remelting furnace etc., with strong professional ability and highly responsible management team. If you have superalloy material inquiry, please contact us without hesitation. Shanghai HY Industry Co., Ltd is Corrosion & fatigue nickel alloy professional manufacturer,We will provide you with sincere and thoughtful service.

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