Technical Reports

Developing a Reliable Signal Wire Attachment Method

  • 12
  • Nov
  • 2014
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-31
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-14/33
KEYWORDS: Railroad; rail; rail head; rail head defect; train control; signal wire attachment; liquid metal embrittlement; heat affected zone; solid state welding; naval brass; rail wire interface; martensite; inertial welding
ABSTRACT: The goal of this project was to develop a better attachment method for rail signal wires to improve the reliability of signaling systems. EWI conducted basic research into the failure mode of current attachment methods and developed and tested a new process that provides improved performance over current techniques. EWI studied currently available stud alloys and developed a solid state inertia friction welding (IFW) process to better control the joining process and reduce the likelihood of forming martensite in the rail head. C464 Naval Brass exhibited high strength without the formation of martensite under manageable process parameters.
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