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Tata Steel opens French plant to heat treat 108-meter train rail
October 30, 2013
Tata Steel Europe, France, has built a new $16.5 million heat-treatment facility in Lorraine for the production of new harder-wearing 108-meter rail. An induction furnace heats the rails to 950°C, and compressed air then cools them quickly. The facility will allow the company to manufacture longer lengths of "super-hardened" rail for the first time.
The rails are to be installed in Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia, countries with winding mountainous routes and lines with high axle loads that need harder-wearing track. The new facility will produce around 70,000 metric tons of the longer heat treated-rails each year, more than doubling the current annual output of treated rail to 125,000 metric tons.
"We have built this plant in response to demand from valued customers, but while our heat treatment process is tried and tested, we have continued to innovate to ensure the new plant will be more energy efficient and will allow us to deliver rail to customers exactly when required," David Petitjean, manager of the new facility.
The steel blooms for the rails are transported from the north of England to Lorraine through the Channel Tunnel.
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