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INDIAN RAILWAYS INSTITUTE OF CIVIL ENGINEERING, PUNE

PROJECT REPORT ON

A.T. WELDING WITH AUTOMATIC TAPPING SYSTEM


(AN EXPERIENCE IN AGRA DIVISION)
! " "#$ ! %

INTEGRATED COURSE BATCH NO. 613


17TH JULY – 29TH SEPTEMBER-2006

UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF


Shri Rajesh Kumar
Prof. Track-I
Prepared by:-

1. Shri J.R. Meena AIE/RDSO/LKO

2. ,, Lokesh Verma AXEN/C/JBP

3. ,, Rajveer Singh ADEN/GONDA


CONTENTS
S.No. Item Page No.

1. Introduction &% 1

2. Probable Causes of AT welding Failure 1


$ ' $ $ %
3. Identified areas of upgradation (&&$ $ &) *+% 2-3

4. Global Leaders in AT Welding $! ,-! . % 4

5. Methodology for establishing superiority . $ $ $ / 0% 4-5

6. Lab Evaluation 1 ". $ % 5-9

7. Field Trial ' *% 10

8. Execution superiority features ,2 . % 10

9. Comparison of AT welding technique offered by Global leaders


in the field AT welding vis-à-vis that prevalent on the Indian Railways 11-14
"#" 2 ! ,-! .!# 0$ %
10. Comments on results "# % 14-15

11. Constitution of steady team !0 $ $ 3 % 15

12. Recommendations !0 $ $ 4% 16-17

13. Conclusion ,$ ,/% 18-19

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1. Introduction &%
Indian Railway have a AT weld population of over 4.3 million. Out of these, over 3
million welds are of SKV type. The population of SKV weld is growing at the rate of about 0.8
million per annum. Age wise over 1.3 million joints have served for more than 10 years. Indian
Railway has a high failure rate of AT welds. Failure of even a very small percentage of welds
executed annually poses a serious challenge in ensuring train safety.

Weld failures on Indian Railway constitute a large percentage of the rail and weld failures
Total 12850(32.3%) 26849(67.6%) 39699
taken together. Year wise figures of rail/weld failures from year 2000-01 to 2003-04 are
Itsummarized
can be seen frombelow:
the above that approximately 68%of total rail and weld failures
occurringonIndianRailwayare weld failures.
Year Rail Failures Weld Failures Total Failures
Keeping
2000-01inviewthe magnanimityof3342(33.43%)
theproblemas illustratedbythe table above, awork
6657(66.57%) 9999
toacquire state of the art technology toobtain improvedquality of Alumino Thermit welds has
2001-02
been sanctioned 3551(31.39%) 7763(68.61%)
by Railway Board under SRSF costing Rs.30 crores. The objective of the 11314
project is2002-03
to acquire the state of the art3196(30%)
AT welding technique as a com plete
7488(70%) package 10864
encompassing entire gamut of activities involved in the welding. The packag e would involve
improvem2003-04 2761(42.5%) 4941(57.5%)
ent in the consumables and equipment, training of welders and supervisors and the 8592
latest technological advances in this field fromglobal leaders. It is expected that suchpackage
wouldensurelifeof welds equivalent tothat obtainableonadvance Railways ofWorld.
In viewofabove, it is essential to examineareas responsible for imparting higher failure
ratetoIndianATwelds.
2. Probable Causes of AT weldingFailure (B.]Ò
.´ÉèʱbÆ
M
ÉEÒẾÉ¡ ±ÉiÉÉEä ºÉÆ
¦ ÉÉẾÉiÉEÉ®
hÉ):
95%oftheweldfailures aretransversefracture mostlyinitiating fromfoot as seeninthe
failureinvestigations ofwelds inM&CDte. The major causes of weld failures areas under:

Executionstage(Poor qualityofexecution):
i) Lackofadequatefusioncauseddueto inadequate heating
ii) Too wet lutingsand produces porosityinthermit steel and pinholes/porosity is observed
inweldcollar.

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iii) Use of damp crucible during thermit welding or presence of moisture in the portion
produces porosity throughout the weld section.

iv) Inclusions in the weld steel due to improper cleaning and/ or overuse of the crucible
leading to weld failure.

v) An improper judgment regarding completion of reaction of portion, tapping the molten


metal into the mould either too early or too late.

3. Identified areas of upgradation (&&$ $ &) *+% :


Some of the areas which are perceived to be the weakness on IR and therefore in need of
up gradation are described hereafter.

Execution of Welding:

The emphasis needs to be in the reduction in element of human error. Therefore, the
technique should offer optimum level of automation/mechanization. Few of the features in
vogue on advance Railways of World are:

One-shot crucible: Used only for one weld, the one shot crucible is made from a refractory
compound agglomerated by means of synthetic resin. The thermic factor of this crucible is
notably better than the conventional crucible and its use results in cleaner steel and consistent
weld quality. The need for accurate adjustment of crucible on its frame is eliminated.

One-shot crucible

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Auto Thimble: The use of auto thimble ensures that the pouring commences at the correct
temperature.

Crucible with Auto Thimble

Use of adequately mechanized preheating technique: Compressed air/petrol, oxygen/propane


systems of preheating ensuring that mechanized means are available to ensure desired pressure
of gas. In conventional air/petrol preheating system such control is done manually. Therefore
,desired pressure in tank can not be assumed to be proper at all times.

Preheating System

Acquiring Skills: The quality control regime followed by advance Railway systems in world as
regards to training of welders/supervisors and their regular monitoring is superior. The
acquisition of the technique should be coupled with the training and monitoring regime
commensurate with the technique being offered.

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Alignment of Rails Using ‘A’ Frames

4.0 Global Leaders in AT Welding $! ,- ! . %:


Based on literature survey, it was found that there are following leading firms in the field of
alumino thermit welding in the World:

i) M/s Elektro Thermit GmbH & Co, KG, Gerling Strasse, 65. D-45139, Essen,
Germany.
ii) M/s Railtech International, ZL du Bas Pre-59590, Raismnes, France.

5.0 Methodology for establishing superiority . $ $ $ / 0% :


Based on the discussion with the firms following methodology was formulated with
approval of Railway Board:

5.1 Establishing superiority of technique (laboratory stage)- The firms should send internal
test results for 5 welds using technique proposed to RDSO for evaluation.

5.2 Establishing superiority of technique in Indian Conditions (field stage)- Firms will
weld 50 joints with their own welders, portions, consumables, supervisors in open line
section. There should not be any defects when tested by USFD and weld should be free
from fins, blow holes etc. Weld should survive at least 15 GMT traffic without
developing any defect/failure. Higher fatigue strength will be specified for these welds as
compared to welds executed with existing technology. In addition, 50 welds will be
executed by Indian Railway welders using the consumables and technique provided by
the firm to provide exposure of the technique to Indian Railway welders. However, the
welds executed by Indian Railway Welders will not be used for various tests for
evaluation of the technique.
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5.3 Extensive field trials: This work should be completed in a time frame of 6 to 8 months
and the welds so executed will be monitored by RDSO for a period of 1 year.

The evaluation criteria for in-service trials are proposed as under:

a) Defective welds when tested by USFD at the end of evaluation period should be less
than 0.2%.
b) Firms while submitting the offer should indicate the allowable % age of weld failure
up to the end of evaluation period.

using same methodology, stress range and stress reversal range. The firms offering the welding
technology therefore, would have to conduct tests accordingly.

In the meanwhile full understanding of fatigue strength determination methods and their
relative superiority will have to be adjudged after discussions / deliberations with some of the
advance Railways specially France, Germany, UK etc.

6. Lab Evaluation 1 ". $ %:


The results of lab evaluation of the welds namely, USFD test, hardness test, transverse
breaking load/deflection test, macro examination, spectrographic analysis and fatigue test
and reaction bar tests are surmised below:

6.1 Transverse breaking load/Deflection test:

160

150 M/s RAILTECH,


Transverse Breaking Load,t

France,
140

130 M/s Elektro-


Thermit,
Germany
120

110 M/s ITC,Kanpur


10 15 20 25 30 CAP,2pc.,60Kg
UIC
Deflection,mm

From the above, it can be seen that:


• Transverse breaking load and deflection obtained for the technology offered in the project
are comparatively higher than existing techniques.
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• The values obtained are significantly higher than the limits specified in IRST-19.

6.2 Hardness: Comparative values of Hardness test results obtained for AT welding
technique of 60Kg (90UTS) rail joints

Hardness Test (BHN)/3000Kg/10mm.ball/10Sec. of M/s HTI,Raipur


S. M/s ITC,Kanpur M/s HTI,Raipur M/s RAILTECH, France M/s Elektro-Thermit,
No. CAP,2pc.,60Kg CAP,2pc.,60Kg Germany
PM HAZ WM HAZ PM PM HAZ WM HAZ PM PM HAZ WM HAZ PM PM HAZ WM HAZ PM
1. 269 285 269 255 269 277 285 285 302 269 255 255 269 262 255 269 277 269 281 262
2. 277 269 269 277 269 277 285 285 288 269 255 255 269 248 269 285 285 269 281 269
3. 269 269 269 269 269 269 277 277 285 269 255 255 275 269 248 269 281 273 281 269
4. 277 262 269 285 269 255 285 285 289 285 262 258 269 269 269 269 281 273 281 277
5. 269 277 269 285 269 269 277 277 285 277 255 269 275 269 269 269 273 269 281 269
6. 269 269 269 285 269 277 289 289 297 277 269 262 275 275 255 262 269 255 277 269
7. 269 269 277 277 269 285 285 285 294 277 269 269 269 269 269 269 273 269 281 269
8. 277 269 277 269 277 269 285 285 285 269 269 255 269 255 255 269 285 255 285 269
9. 269 269 269 277 269 269 292 292 302 285 255 269 269 281 269 269 273 269 281 269
10. 269 277 269 277 269 269 297 297 298 293 255 277 277 262 255 269 285 265 269 262
11. 277 269 277 269 277 262 269 269 285 269 255 277 277 262 255 277 285 265 285 277
12. 269 277 277 277 269 269 277 277 289 269 255 269 277 255 255 277 281 269 273 269
Specified 269 Actual 269+20 Actual 269 269 Actual 269+20 Actual 269 269 Actual 269+ Actual 269 269 Actual 269+20 Actual 269
PM+ PM + PM+ 20 PM+ 20 PM+ 20 20 PM+ 20 PM+ 20 PM +
20 20 20
From the above it may be seen that:
• In case of Railtech, the hardness in the HAZ for four samples is beyond the specified
limits.
• In case of ElektroThermit, the hardness of the weld metal has been found to be lower
than the specified limits for four samples.

6.2 Fusion Zone and Heat affected zone (HAZ): Extent of Fusion Zone and HAZ for A.T.

F A HE A D
.
1
7 7
5
4

G B HA Z

WZ

H C W EB

I D

J E FO OT

S K E T C H S H O W I N G W I D T H O F FZ / H A Z O N
M A C R O E TC H E D L O N G IT U D IN A L / V E R T I C A L
S E C T IO N C U T T H R O U G H A .T . W E L D

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Welding Technique of 60Kg. (90UTS) Rail with CAP Preheating Technique in vogue on
IR and state of the art AT welding techniques are presented in comparative format below:

M/s HTI, M/s ITC, Kanpur M/s RailTech, France M/s Elektro Thermit,
Raipur Germany

Pre-heating time 4.5 minutes 4.5 minutes 6.0-7.0 minutes 5.5-6.0 minutes
Range Aver. Range Aver. Range Aver. Range Aver.

A 67-71 68.333 67-71 68.333 45.8-51.5 48.416 83.6-91.6 88.02


FUSION
ZONE (in
mm.)

B 34-38 35.333 34-38 35.333 30.7-35 33.116 46.9-51.8 49.15


C 47-55 51.166 47-55 51.166 39.5-49.7 42.933 42-50.9 45.88
D 27-35 31.5 27-35 31.5 38-41 39.416 37.1-42.6 38.60
E 52-66 59.166 52-66 59.166 58-60.8 58.9 53.8-60.3 55.45
F 18-21 19.166 18-21 19.166 20-29.5 23.116 12.1-17.4 15.57
AFFECTED
HEAT

ZONE (in mm.)

G 27-35 32.166 27-35 32.166 26.2-31 28.516 31.8-34.7 33.20


H 19-24 21 19-24 21 18-23.5 21.166 23.1-25.5 24.30
I 21-32 27.166 21-32 27.166 21-27 24.083 23.8-25.9 24.45

J 17-19 18.3 17-19 18.3 12-16.3 14.283 16.0-19.6 17.68

A+F (Max.) 89 95 75.37 106.9


B+G 70 79 64.1 86.5
C+H 76 82 67.7 75.4
D+I 66 74 66 66.8
E+J 85 84 75.8 79.9
A+F(Min.) 85 89 68 104.0
B+G 61 70 59.5 79.3
C+H 68 76 61.8 66.1
D+I 48 66 59.8 61.6
E+J 75 85 70.0 70.3
A+F(Aver.) 87.5 92.833 71.533 103.58
B+G 67.5 76.833 61.633 82.35
C+H 72.166 77.833 64.066 70.18
D+I 58.666 68.833 63.5 63.05
E+J 77.5 76.5 73.261 73.13

Location Range (Min.-Max.),mm.


ITC HTI Rail Tech ElektroThermit
Top of weld head 85-89 89-95 68-75.37 104-106.9
Head-web region 61-70 70-79 59.5-64.1 79.3-86.5
Web 68-76 76-82 61.8-67.7 66.1-75.4
Web-foot region 48-66 66-74 59.8-66 61.6-66.8
Weld Bottom 75-85 85-89 70-75.8 70.3-79.9

Figures in Green and Red colour represent lowest and highest values respectively.

Following can be concluded from above:


• The HAZ of RailTech welds is amongst the lowest.
• The HAZ of ElektroThermit welds is amongst the highest.

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6.4 Weld metal chemistry : Comparative values of weld metal chemistry for A.T. Welding
Technique of 60Kg. (90UTS) Rail with CAP Preheating Technique in vogue on IR and state of
the art techniques of Railtech and Elektrothermit are as under:

Element(%) Specified Values observed during Lab evaluation


values in M/s M/s ITC,Kanpur M/s RAILTECH, M/s Elektro Thermit,
IRST-19(%) HTI,Raipur (%) France (%) Germany (%)
(%)
C 0.5-0.7 0.58-0.62 0.56-0.69 0.645-0.664 0.47-0.56
Mn 0.8-1.3 1.17-1.26 0.86-1.17 0.79-1.02 0.53-0.65
P 0.05 (Max.) 0.05 0.026-0.040 0.032-0.033 0.019-0.023
S 0.05 (Max.) 0.03 0.014-0.041 0.008-0.012 0.005-0.007
Si 0.5 (Max.) 0.35-0.66 0.67-0.92** 0.65-0.86 0.71-0.83
V* 0.1-0.15 0.11-0.13 0.006-0.007** 0.010-0.011 0.009-0.01
Mo* 0.1-0.25 0.02 - 0.02 0.02
Al 0.15-0.65 0.19-0.21 0.268-0.573 0.087-0.20 <0.06-0.230
Cr 0.2 (Max.) - 0.014-0.028 0.03 0.08-0.11
Ni - - 0.012-0.017 - -
*Either Vanadium (V) or Molybdenum (Mo) may be used as grain refiner
** Lab evaluation was undertaken before the complete weld metal chemistry was specified in
IRST-19-1994.

It is seen form the above table that the weld metal chemistry obtained for M/s RailTech, France
is within the limits specified as per IRST-19-1994 for most of elements except for Si, V /Mo, Al
& Mn. In case of M/s ElektroThermit, Germany, the limits specified for Al,V/Mo, Si, Mn, C
are not matching to the values obtained. It may however, be noted that while offering the state of
the art technique firms will have to be given freedom to adopt suitable chemistry for obtaining
desired results.

6.5 Fatigue test:

IRS-T-19 specifies the requirement of fatigue strength of weld as 24Kg/mm 2 (20Kg/mm2


tension, 4Kg/mm2 compression). It also specifies that in event of a firm developing welding
technique for both 52Kg and 60Kg rail sections, the fatigue testing is required to be done only
for the lower section. Due to this, fatigue strength data for UIC 60 welds were not available.
Therefore, it was decided to undertake fatigue testing of UIC 60 rail section welds of welding
techniques in vogue on IR to obtain benchmark value.

Both the firms had provided fatigue strength of their weld produced by the technology
offered. However, study of the details sent by them revealed that the test set up is quite different
from the one prescribed in IRS-T-19. On this account, ready comparison of fatigue strength with
specified values in IRS-T-19 was not possible.

In view of this, it was decided that fatigue test on AT welds executed by state of the art
technology should be conducted using the method followed on Indian Railways. Accordingly,
the test joints executed by M/s Rail Tech, France and M/s Elektro Thermit, Germany (USFD
tested and certified good) were brought to TM lab and fatigue testing on these joints was
undertaken.

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The setup available with TM lab was utilized for this purpose as shown in photograph
below.

Existing technology (M/s ITC Kanpur)

M/s ITC was requested


to provide samples for fatigue
testing. The weld samples
provided by M/s ITC, were
produced using CAP
preheating technique and
welding was done in the firm’s
premises at Kanpur using
portions from the batch
no.050196.

While testing as per test


scheme, one sample failed at
1505000 cycles at 24Kg/mm 2
stress range whereas all three
samples tested at 23Kg/mm 2
stress range survived as shown
in Table below.
The setup available with TM lab at RDSO
Summary:

The fatigue test results obtained so far are summarised below:

S. Rail section Fatigue Fatigue Fatigue Fatigue


No strength as per strength of strength of strength of
. IRST-19-1994 AT welds
RAILTECH Elektro-
technique
prevalent on welds Thermit
IR
1. 52 Kg (90UTS) 24 Kg/mm2 24 Kg/mm 2 -- --
2. 60 Kg (90UTS) -- 23 Kg/mm 2 24 Kg/mm2 24 Kg/mm2

It can be seen from the above that fatigue strength of AT welds executed using AT welding
technology offered by Global leading firms M/s RailTech, France and M/s ElektroThermit,
Germany is found to be 24 Kg/mm2 which is at par with the value specified in IRS-T-19 and
marginally higher than actual value of limited fatigue test conducted on welds of existing
welding technology on IR.

-9-
7.0 Field Trial ' * %:
a) 49 nos. of field trial joints were executed at Farah station yard in Agra - Mathura section of
Agra Division/NCR in September 2004. Welding expert deputed from M/s Rail Tech,
France, executed all the above joints. Out of these 48welds were executed in cess and one
weld was executed in-situ. These joints had accumulated traffic of 44 GMT. These joints
have been inspected jointly by RDSO, representatives of firm and NCR on 24.08.05-
26.08.05. Visual observation was done after welds were executed. This indicated formation
of side fin in one joint executed in-situ on account of improper fixing of 3 piece mould. The
finish of rest of the joints were found to be satisfactory and superior to that achieved in the IR
technology.

b) 50 nos. of field trial joints were executed at ‘Baad’ station yard in Agra - Mathura section of
Agra Division/NCR w.e.f. 24.4.05 to 28.4.05. Welding expert deputed from M/s Elektro-
Thermit, Germany, executed all the above joints. Principal Chief Engineer/NCR/Allahabad
has been requested to send the performance report of these trial joints as per the proforma at
every 1 ½ month interval. NCR forwarded two reports in July 05 & August 05. As per these
reports, physical condition of all the trial joints has been found satisfactory.

The AT welding parameters adopted for welding techniques offered by global leading firms
vis-à-vis welding technique prevalent on Indian railways are as follows:

Sr.
No. Activity RailTech, ElektroThermit, ITC,Kanpur HTI,Raipur
France Germany

1. Pre-heating time 6-7 min. 5.5-6.0 min. 4.5 min. 4.5 min.
2. Mode of Tapping Auto thimble Auto thimble Manual Manual
i) Tapping time 20-28 sec. 22-45 sec. 20+3 sec. 20+3 sec.
Range
ii) Mean tapping 22.68 sec 29.96 sec. ---- ----
time
iii) Std. Deviation of 1.59 sec 4.44 sec ---- ----
tapping time
3. Mould waiting 5-6 min. 6-6.5 min. 4.5-5.5min. 5.0-5.5
time min.
4. Chipping time 45-60 Sec. 20-34sec. 1.0-1.5 min. 1.0-1.5
min.

8.0 Execution superiority features ,2 . %:


8.1 Execution Methodology has following superior features in case of Rail Tech
International, France :

i) Use of A-frame for alignment/level.


- 10 -
ii) Refractory material lining in mould for better weld surface finish.
iii) One shot crucible for cleaner steel.
iv) Auto thimble for reducing manual intervention.
v) Use of readymade luting paste ensuring consistency required for luting.
vi) Handy compressor unit
vii) Use of sleek trimmer with manual trimming option.

8.2 Execution methodology has following superior features in case of Elektrothermit GmbH,
Germany.

i) Refractory material lining in mould for better weld surface finish.


ii) One shot crucible for cleaner steel
iii) Auto thimble for reducing manual intervention.
iv) Use of readymade luting paste ensuring consistency required for luting.

9.0 Comparison of AT welding technique offered by Global leaders in the field AT


welding vis-à-vis that prevalent on the Indian Railways
"#" 2 ! ,-! .!# 0$ %:
Operation M/s RailTech, France M/s Elektro Thermit, Technique prevalent on
Germany Indian Railways
Alignment

1M Straight edge with filler Uses 1M straight edge with 1M straight edge as shown
gauge used for alignment of wooden wedges similar to above being utilized for the
rails. In field, A-frame in Indian Railways. purpose along with wooden
combination with above used wedges.
for guarding against
movement due to
temperature variation.

- 11 -
Mould

Three piece mould was Two piece mould was offered. Two piece/Three piece mould
offered. This obviates fins at Inner lining of the mould was with zircon wash are prevalent.
bottom of weld collar. Fixing made up of superior refractory The weld finish achieved is not
of bottom plate requires material finish to provide good as good.
skilled person. Inner lining finish weld. The mould is so
of the mould was made up of designed that weld trimming is
superior finish refractory possible only by weld trimmer.
material to provide good
surface finish to weld.
Fixing of
mould

Fixing of mould requires Fixing of mould requires skill Luting sand is being used for the
skill. Readymade luting much skill. Readymade luting sealing the gap between mould.
paste is being utilized for paste is being utilized for Water is added to achieve the
sealing the gaps between the sealing for the gaps between desired consistency, often
moulds. Slot is provided in the moulds. Slot is provided in leading to porosity in the weld
the mould for effective the mould shoe for effective due to excessive moisture in
sealing of gaps. sealing of gaps. sand.

Pre-
heating

Compressed Air-petrol pre- Compressed Air-petrol pre- Compressed Air-petrol pre-


heating system was offered heating system prevalent on heating system prevalent on
manufactured by the firm Indian Railways was utilized Indian Railways.
themselves. The system is for the purpose.
quite handy.

- 12 -
Crucible

One shot crucible with auto One shot crucible with auto Multiple use crucible being used
thimble thimble containing portion on Indian Railways.
within.
Portion

Portion packed in moisture Portion filled within the one Portion packed in moisture proof
proof polythene bag and shot crucible with auto polythene bag, jute bag and
corrugated carton. thimble. corrugated carton.
Tapping
procedure

Tapping through Auto Tapping through Auto Manual tapping


thimble thimble

- 13 -
Trimming
of weld

Performed by sleek trimmer Trimmer used is hydraulic one Hydraulic trimmer being used
manufactured by firm. and is same as in use on IR on IR.
Manual operation is also
possible in event of failure of
power pack.
Finishing
of weld

Rail Tech make profile Profile grinder is the same as is Profile grinder is the being used
grinder. in use on IR. on IR.

10.0 Comments on results "# %


10.1 Rail Tech International, France

10.1.1 Transverse breaking load and deflection obtained in the tests on PLK technique are
comparatively higher and better than existing techniques as well as specified limits in
IRS-T-19.

10.1.2 Hardness of weld metal is satisfactory although hardness in HAZ in four welds is
marginally out of limits specified in IRS-T-19.

10.1.3 The extent of HAZ of welds is amongst the lowest.

10.1.4 The standard deviation of the tapping time is only 1.59 sec.

10.1.5 The weld metal chemistry is at variance with IRS-T-19 for Si, V/Mo, Al and Mn.
Vanadium/Molebdenum are not used for grain refining. Grain size of welds has been
studied at RDSO.

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10.1.6 The fatigue strength of welds is 24Kg/mm2 which at par is with the specified fatigue
strength in IRS-T-19. The fatigue strength is marginally higher than that of welds of
existing technology which has been found to be 23Kg/mm2.

10.1.7 2.04 % of welds have developed defects in rail head with passage of 44 GMT.

10.2 Elektrothermit GmbH, Germany.

10.2.1 Transverse breaking load and deflection obtained in the test are comparatively higher and
better than existing techniques as well as specified limits in IRS-T-19.

10.2.2 Hardness of weld metal is below the specified value in IRS-T-19 in case of four welds
out of 12 test welds.

10.2.3 The extant of HAZ of welds in amongst the highest.

10.2.4 The standard deviation of the tapping time is 4.44 sec.

10.2.5 The weld metal chemistry is at variance with IRS-T-19 for S, Al, V/Mo, Mn and carbon
vanadium/molebdenum are not used for grain refining. Grain size of weld has been
studied at RDSO.

10.2.6 The fatigue strength of welds is 24/Kg/mm2 which is at par with the specified fatigue
strength in IRS-T-19. The fatigue strength is marginally higher than that of welds of
existing technology which has been found to be 23Kg/mm2.

11.0 Constitution of steady team !0 $ $ 4%


In order to consolidate the gains made, it was considered essential to study all aspects of
welding technology on offer including the manufacturing of portions and consumables,
conditions prevailing on the Railways abroad, welders and their training etc. Keeping above
in view, Railway Board constituted a study team for the above vide their sanction letter
No.2005/E(O)II/14/159 dt:9-12-2005 comprising of following members:

S K Agarwal, ED/Track(P)/Railway Board


Harsh Kumar, ED/F(X) II/Railway Board
A K Mondal, AED/M&C/RDSO
P Funkwal, Director/Track/RDSO
V K Bali, Dy CE/TM/HQ/NR

The above team visited M/s Railtech International, France from 14-12-05 to 16-12-05 and M/s
ElektroThermit GmbH, Germany from 19-12-05 to 21-12-2005.

- 15 -
12.0 Recommendations of steady team !0 $ $ 3 %:

12.1 Amendments to IRS-T-19

a) Study team recommends following amendments in IRS-T-19 in order to bring benefits in


terms of quality with welds executed using existing technology with immediate effect:
b) Permanent marking of welds by punch marks on non-gauge face side of weld be
introduced as prevailing on SNCF to address traceability issue.
c) Portion manufacturing firms needs to maintain welder records which shall form part of
quality management system of the firms covering following:

Welding training and competence


Weld records
Number of welds produced in a given period
Number of welds rejected
Number of welds failed in service

d) Audit of portion manufacturing firms and other approved welding execution firms
regarding training of welders and maintenance of records pertaining to welders by IR
authorities needs to be introduced. These firms should also have internal auditing
mechanism for checking and ensuring quality of welds being achieved by their welders in
field and record of these checks shall be maintained.
e) The welders acquiring competency certificate for the first time should not be deployed on
main lines till they graduate to become skilled welders.
f) Incorporation of well structured training and certification norms for welding agencies for
execution of welds with portion manufactured by approved portion manufacturers in line
with those prevailing in Europe.
g) Execution of welds by departmental welders needs to be reviewed critically as even after
ensuring full traceability, practically no disincentive can be handed to the defaulting
personnel( mostly gang men working as welder) in the present scenario.
h) Reprocessing of the rejected batch of portions should be abolished. Once a portion batch
fails to meet acceptance tests, it should be disposed off.
i) Quality control measures in manufacturing of moulds needs to be introduced by all
portion-manufacturing firms. These measures must include Quality Assurance
Programme (QAP) for manufacturing of moulds, inspection of moulds, rejection criteria
etc.
j) Random inspection of moulds (dimensional accuracy, finish etc.) needs to be
incorporated in the schedule of inspection carried out at the time of acceptance of
welding kits. Any mould failing the acceptance tests should become the cause for
rejection of the corresponding batch of moulds.

12.2 Evolving Upgraded Standards for Welding

Study Team recommends that IR urgently evolve an integrated approach to address


deficiencies in all spheres of welding activities namely execution, quality of

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consumables, welder training and certification etc. by upgrading AT welding
Specifications and manual and put in place phase wise program for its full
implementation in a period of 3 years to achieve about 0.4% weld failure rate. The Study
Team recommends following specific areas to achieve above:

Execution of Welds
a) Self-driving system for ensuring a good quality welds is a must.
b) The complete system of granting competency to the welder, training and certification of
welder needs thorough reforms to bring it to the level of European norms in terms of
provisions and reliability of welds.
c) The permanent marking of weld for traceability purposes needs to be decided and
implemented immediately.

d) Availability of adequate number of trained welders commensurate with workload of


welding as well as adequate number of supervisors per welding team needs to be ensured
by the weld executing agencies to eliminate possibility of poor quality in execution of
welds. Frequency of inspection of welding team by the supervisor needs to be laid down
and a record of his inspections needs to be maintained.

Quality of Consumables
e) Improvement in the welding processes such as one shot crucible, auto thimble which
have become the norm in the advanced railway system are required to be introduced on
IR to gain enhanced level of weld reliability.
f) A major upward shift in the quality of welding kit (mould quality and finish, abolishing
clause regarding reprocessing of portion, tolerances in portion quality) has become
imminent. The improvement in the quality of mould alone can offset major portion of
cost of advance technology, since improved quality of mould would result in elimination
of fins, thus avoiding periodic ultrasonic flange testing of welds for half moon shaped
defect and increased fatigue strength.

Process Approval
g) The system of granting process approval to welding process supplier needs review
especially as regards to the capability of the process suppliers in terms of quality systems
prevailing for welder training, R&D work related to welding process (e.g. mould design)
and quality control systems in manufacturing of portions and consumables.
h) The complete system of evaluation of a process including methods/procedures of testing
etc. needs to be revised thoroughly based on international norms.

i) The initial and periodic ultrasonic testing regime for the welds is commensurate with the
quality of welds legislated and actually produced. This should be reviewed based on the
inputs in the quality of welds with use of advanced technology to obtain corresponding
savings in cost of testing.

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13.0 Conclusions $ ,/%:
,

It is noted that the quality of execution of welds is of paramount importance for it can make
or mar the entire efforts of any previous stage. It was learnt that the quality of welds will not
improve merely by increasing quality of the portion or the crucible etc. these have to be in
conjunction with improving the quality of welds. Poor workmanship of welders can completely
nullify any other quality improvement at any other stage. It is there fore suggested that in the first
phase we must improve the quality of welds being executed by the welders. Following suggestions
are made to improve the quality of the welds being executed:

Well-designed tools and equipment to accomplish various activities involved in


welding.

A well structured training for welders. The system of certification of welder and
re-certification has to be revamped.

Full traceability of welder, portion and consumable used. This alone ensures
that welders are performing in conformity with the quality standards laid down.

Overall control on quality of welding is achieved by a well-designed overall


system and environment prevailing on Railway rather than purely by
technology. The key elements of the quality control system are:

Welding agency is required to maintain welder records which forms a part of


quality management system and include welder training and competence details,
number of welds produced in a given period, number of welds rejected/failed.

The second set of suggestions is given below which aim to improve the other areas of
the process.

One-shot crucible and auto thimble have become the norm in most of the
advanced railway systems.

Critical components of welding namely portion and crucible are centralized in


order to keep strict quality control. The quality control starts from raw
material level.

In order to continuously maintain and improve quality through R&D, it is


essential that a process supplying firm is big enough to plough back a part
of its earning in to R&D. This needs to be considered an important criterion
while granting approval to a process-supplying firm by railways.
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German systems emphasize more on organization for quality control and
training.

The quality control in production of portion is of the highest order. Strict


control over quality and quantity of ingredients is ensured. The accuracy in
weight of ingredients and finished portions is extremely tight.

Superior quality control on portions and other consumables.

No reprocessing of portions batch is undertaken on failing to meet


acceptance standards.

Process supplier is required to provide a process manual specifying critical


parameters of welding process and their safe bounds and training
requirements for welders.

Self driving system for ensuring a good quality welds is in place:

Prevention is considered more important than cure.

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