SAIL develops welding technology for Ni-Cr-Cu (NCC) grade rails

Central Chronicle News
Bhilai, Aug 05: Engineers of Steel Authority of India Limited working at SAIL’s Research & Development Centre for Iron & Steel (RDCIS), Asia’s largest research centre for iron and steel and SAIL-Bhilai Steel Plant have developed a unique welding and post weld-controlled cooling program for Ni-Cr-Cu (Nickel-Chromium-Copper) or NCC grade rails. SAIL-BSP is the sole producer of NCC rails in the world. The NCC rail which was developed in joint collaboration with SAIL-RDCIS, Indian Railway’s research wing, RDSO and IIT Kanpur under Government of India initiative on Technology Mission on Rail Safety (TMRS) for laying rails in coastal regions and corrosion prone locations of Indian Railways network has shown remarkable performance under field trials over the years.
“Finally, a long-awaited dream has come true. We are now in a position to supply NCC rails in 260 metre welded panel to Indian Railways which was limited to 13 metre till now,” said Director-in-charge, Bhilai Steel Plant, Anirban Dasgupta at a function at the Plant’s Universal Rail Mill. Director-in-charge, BSP who had personally taken interest in the project and continuously boosted the morale of the team throughout the trial phases, congratulated the RDCIS and BSP team and said, “we have a capability to lead the entire world in the development of new grades of rails.” Anjani Kumar, Executive Director (Works), BSP, Sandip Kumar Kar, CGM (Quality), BSP, Anish Sengupta, CGM (URM), BSP, HK Pathak GM (Oprn), URM, KV Shankar, GM (Quality), BSP, Perminder Singh, DGM, URM and Sanjeev Kumar, DGM, RDCIS were present along with other team members at the function.
The NCC rails are prone to develop undesired microstructure and hardness in the heat affected zone of weld joint with conventional welding procedure. A team of RDCIS engineers led by Sanjeev Kumar, DGM (Rolling), RDCIS Ranchi have developed the strategy of welding of NCC rails through experiments at the RDCIS laboratory. The research findings were implemented at the Rail Welding Machine in Universal Rail Mill of Bhilai Steel Plant. Anish Sengupta, Chief General Manager, URM modified the welding software and annealing program as per the need. After the five phases of welding experiments on NCC rails at URM, the final welding program has been developed and approval exercise as per the protocol of Indian Railway’s Flash Butt Welding Manual (Revised in 2012) was taken in July, 2021. The approval tests were witnessed and certified by Rail India Technical and Economic Service Limited (RITES Ltd.), a PSU under Ministry of Railways. The welding joint successfully cleared the approval test. The development has enabled BSP to supply these rails in 260 metre welded panel with a sound and acceptable weld joint. Indian Railways were looking for these rails in 260 metre welded panel for laying tracks in coastal regions. The NCC rails guarantee double the life than normal rails under hostile corrosive environment in coastal areas.
Executive Director (RDCIS), Nirvik Banerjee congratulated the RDCIS team led by Sanjeev Kumar, DGM, RDCIS Ranchi along with Abhishek Maitra, Senior Manager, RDCIS Ranchi, Ravi Pratap Singh, Senior Manager, RDCIS, Bhilai Centre, PK Thakur, General Manager, RDCIS Bhilai Centre and BSP team at a special function at RDCIS Ranchi for developing the welding technology for a product of national importance. DK Jain, Chief General Manager (Rolling), RDCIS Ranchi, P Pathak, GM, RDCIS, Ranchi, SK Jha, GM, RDCIS Ranchi and S Srikanth, GM RDCIS Ranchi also congratulated the RDCIS and BSP team for the commendable success.

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