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SUMMARY OF THE SNAGA GROUP-DEVELOPED ALUMINOTHERMIC RAIL WELDING

Many years' service experience of the railway trunk lines railing, of production enterprises' rail siding, internal and crane runways, of mining integrated works open pits' rails-tracks and city railing (subways and trams) has shown that a number of negative factors (such as movement of the rolling stock of heavy axle load, complex railroad profile, insufficient amount of preventive measures, etc.) may result in accidents and coming-offs, thus leading to emergency situations and significant financial expenditure on their elimination.

The SNAGA-developed aluminothermic rail welding technology, which is a high-tech, mobile, cost-effective and resource-saving technology of performing railway maintenance and repair works, serves to prevent the occurrence of any emergencies caused by rail-track breakdown and to reduce the losses through minimizing the cost of maintenance/repair works.

The thermit welding process will take 28-30 seconds per joint, and, together with the welding joint preparation and the finishing stages, no more than 45 minutes. The entire welding is performed by a team of three people, a total weight of the operating equipment being max 400 kg. An independent energy source is used in the welding.

The aluminothermic welding is, currently, under general application worldwide - on railway main lines, at production enterprises, quarries, municipal rail systems (trams and subways).

The saving of direct costs from the introduction of this technology will amount to up to 50% compared with the bolted connection method, and, combined with the electrical resistance method, to up to 300%.

Operational costs of railway maintenance are reduced by 35%.

The notable (of up to 50%) lowering of the total cost of the maintenance and repair works is owed to the eliminated need for protracted gaps in train schedule and for station-to-station-closing mode, etc.

In liquidating an emergency on trunk lines (defects of rails with transverse cracks), the saving will amount to 150%.

SNAGA CJSC is the only Russian company specializing in the development and introduction of the resource-saving technology of aluminothermic welding of rail joints (ALTW). The Company has its own production of the thermit mixture, equipment and consumables and provides their shipment across the Railways of Russia system, exercising concurrent control over the maintenance of the technology. The Training Center has been established for ALTW specialists, in conjunction with the VNIIZhT (All-Russia Research Institute of Railway Transport), MIIT (Moscow State University of Railway Engineering) and RAPS (State Academy of Communication Lines of Russia).

The Company has a staff of trainer specialists that carry the onsite training for the Ministry of Communication Lines officers and perform the designer's field supervision over the technology maintenance across the Russian railways.

SNAGA Co. is the holder of 9 patents and certificates of authorship for rail joints-related ALTW technology and equipment and is awarded 2 gold and 1 silver medals and a whole number of diplomas for the development and introduction of the resource-saving technology of the aluminothermic rails welding in the territory of Russia.

Starting from 1996, our Company has welded more than 300000 joints across track lines along the main travel and high-velocity sections, in various climatic zones, throughout Russia and in Kazakhstan. The highest level of the welded joints strength characteristics has only been confirmed since.

The achievements attained by the SNAGA Group in the area of the aluminothermic welding of railroad railing have enabled it to have won, by considerable odds, the tender for laying continuous welded rails for high-velocity lines held by the OJSC "RZhD", leaving other participants such as ELECTRO-THERMIT (Germany) and Railtech International (France) far behind.