Friction Management

Friction Management https://m6g3q6n5.stackpathcdn.com/perch/resources/news/img1399-w450h300.jpg

L.B. Foster, along with our Australian based agent Airlube, participated at the recent AusRAIL PLUS Conference and Exhibition held from December 3-5, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Company attendees included Sid Shue, Director – Rail, Tony Makowsky, Solution and Service Manager, Rail Technologies, and Steve Fletcher, Vice President, Global Friction Management. Australia is a key region for the company’s insulated joints and friction management products sold to the continent’s heavy haul freight railroads.

AusRAIL PLUS Presentation

As part of AusRAIL PLUS 2019, Tony Makowsky had the opportunity to co-present a technical paper entitled “Wayside Top of Rail Friction Control: An Embedded Track Solution in a High-Density Tram Network” with Matthew Kwong, Engineer at Kelois Downer. The whitepaper, available here, covered the benefit of adding KELTRACK® Trackside Transit, a top-of-rail (TOR) friction modifier, to Yarra Trams, located in Melbourne, is the world’s largest operational tram network which is operated and maintained by Kelois Downer. 

A portion of heavily traveled track was experiencing atypical squeal events. Several potential solutions were tried but with no success. It was then suggested to evaluate L.B. Foster’s KELTRACK® Trackside Transit to reduce the coefficient of friction, potentially leading to a decrease in squeal. Initial tests proved to be effective in reducing the squeal, leading to a decision by Kelois Downer to approve and install an embedded track TOR application system as the permanent noise solution. This embedded TOR unit has significantly reduced noise levels for all tram types traveling in both directions.

About Airlube

Airlube, founded in 1998 by Jeff Ogrady and located just outside of Perth, has two divisions, Airlube Rail and Airlube Industrial. Airlube Rail has been the exclusive Australian partner of L.B. Foster since 2003 for friction management equipment, consumables and services. With over 500 wayside lubricators installed and operating around Australia, L.B. Foster and Airlube are helping to save rail operators millions of dollars each year by extending wheel life, reducing rail wear, lengthening grinding intervals and lowering fuel consumption while also reducing both noise and lateral forces. Airlube Industrial specializes in the supply of filters, filtration systems, lubricants and chemicals.

We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of AusRAIL PLUS and look forward to the experience again in 2021.

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