British Steel unveils new rust-resistant rail
Developed at its Scunthorpe headquarters, the new product is a coated rail which can be installed in harsh environments such as coastal lines, wet tunnels, level crossings, mineral lines and salt pans.
It was produced by British Steel after Network Rail called for a coating that could withstand the “rigours of real life installation and use”.
The product is called Zinoco – derived from ‘zinc for no corrosion’ – and extensive testing has showed it will outlast traditional uncoated rail by about five times in aggressive environments. British Steel says it offers superior corrosion protection compared to other rail coating technologies on the market. And contracts have already been secured across the UK, Ireland and France.
British Steel’s rail sector head Richard Bell said: “We have become increasingly aware that many companies have to replace rail prematurely due to rapid corrosion in isolated segments of their network.
“We have developed Zinoco to dramatically delay the onset of corrosion of rail in the broadest range of railway conditions. We are committed to the development of innovative products to help our customers improve the whole life cost of operating their railway infrastructure and I’m sure this will be another valuable contribution to the achievement of this objective.
“This is an exciting time for British Steel and Zinoco is a great example of our innovation and development of premium products for the global market place. Our highly skilled employees create and manufacture world class steel every day and we are proud of the response Zinoco has already received.”
Network Rail was looking for an impact-resistant product which could withstand minor mechanical damage and provide long term protection. Zinoco provided the most complete protection against a range of specified requirements of all the options which were tested.
The new Zinoco plant has been built at British Steel’s Scunthorpe rail and section mill, and the automated facility means the rails can be coated more efficiently than previous coated rail products.