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Friction Management

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L.B. Foster provides engineered mobile application systems for rail friction management.  AUTOPILOT is a mobile top-of-rail application system and LCF (Low Coefficient of Friction) Solid Stick On-Board Lubricant.

Flange lubrication on the wheel/rail interface can significantly reduce flange wear, energy/fuel consumption, flanging noise, wheel profiling frequency, wheel climb derailment potential and rolling contact fatigue (RCF).

AUTOPILOT - Mobile Top of Rail (TOR) System

AUTOPILOT is a mobile top-of-rail application system. This advanced technology can be installed onboard a freight car or locomotive and applies KELTRACK® friction modifiers to the wheel/rail interface. The AUTOPILOT system uses GPS control to automatically adjust product application rates to optimize the friction levels at the wheel/rail interface. This flexible control technology can incorporate geo fencing as well as normal operating inputs to create a customized application strategy if required. These mobile systems are customized specifically fit any car or locomotive and aim to maximize tank volume capacity to meet the service needs of the customer.

The AUTOPILOT system is also supported by Remote Performance Monitoring (RPM) technology. RPM is a powerful tool that enables customers to manage critical control settings to ensure optimal performance. It proactively manages the lubrication equipment by monitoring and reporting uptime, maintenance concerns and refilling requirements. The technology also facilitates advanced maintenance and filling programs by predicting when the equipment is arriving at the maintenance site so refilling can be completed within typical yard dwell times keeping your railroad operations on schedule.

Benefits:

  • Increases Fuel Economy

  • Increases Rail Life

  • Increases Track Structure Life

  • Reduces Lateral Forces

  • Reduces Derailment Potential

  • Reduces Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions

LCF Solid Stick On-Board Lubricant

L.B. Foster’s LCF (Low Coefficient of Friction) Solid Stick is a 100% dry, on-board lubricant specifically designed to reduce flange wear.. LCF provides consistent lubrication to the wheel/ rail interface throughout the entire railway system and is safer, cleaner and more reliable than oil system alternatives.

Engineered to be different from traditional lubricants, LCF is applied directly to a portion of the wheel flanges of a rail vehicle using a spring-loaded bracket/applicator assembly custom designed to meet each customer’s specific requirements. The LCF material transfers to the wheel flange and gauge face of the rail, leaving a thin film that provides excellent, system-wide wear protection.

LCF Solid Sticks have several distinctive characteristics that make them the preferred choice of rail system operators. Each stick includes a patented interlocking feature to ensure continuous product application and minimal waste. The product’s intrinsic thermosetting properties ensure no migration to the railhead and prevent the stick from melting under high temperatures. LCF is non-toxic, non-flammable and flame-resistant to meet strict environmental standards and is safe for use on subterranean railways.

Benefits:

  • Extends Wheel Flange and Rail Gauge Life

  • Reduces Energy Consumption

  • Reduces Risk of Low-speed Derailments

  • No Effect on Traction or Braking

Latest News

Shuohuang Railway, within the Shenhua Group, completed its evaluation of our mobile Top-of-Rail (TOR) application system in 2017.

Mobile Top-of-Rail application system for The Shuohuang Railway

The in-service performance of L.B. Foster’s HPF Solid Stick solutions has demonstrated clear returns in terms of extended asset...

Solid stick Friction Management for Prague Metro