Following a four year development project, Hird Rail Services (HRS) offer its European customers coatings for protecting Insulated Rail Joints (IRJ) and rails that are subject to extreme environmental conditions.
In 2016 HRS designed a new IRJ capable of exceeding all European specifications. This design includes a hard wearing, electrically resistant, durable waterproof coating. In order for the new coated IRJ to meet the stringent specification it required high insulation properties, a minimum/maximum cured coating thickness, a high resistance to UV exposure and a long-life expectancy with a minimum of 15 years guaranteed.
The coating was subjected to a thorough and extensive programme of testing; including life cycle testing at the laboratory, followed by in-track testing on European rail infrastructure.
Being the only manufacturer capable of producing coated IRJs in accordance with the new European specification, HRS is now approved for use in two European rail networks. Supplying in excess of 5,000 coated IRJs since 2016.
HRS has initiated talks with Network Rail looking at rolling out this coating for rail and IRJs in areas where environmental factors are known to adversely impact performance and lifetime. The most common problem areas are coastal routes exposed to saltwater, level crossings subjected to salt and grit spreading and locations such as tunnels where metal filing debris often accumulate.
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