Testing at the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST)

Two No. 10 turnout frogs installed at FAST are being used to evaluate a new method of frog repair. Of these, one of the frogs was repaired using laser cladding, which is intended to reduce heat input, and thus reduce the detrimental effects of heat on the original casting. The other frog was repaired with conventional weld material for comparison.

Two types of plastic composite ties were removed from testing earlier than expected due to tie cracking. Testing at FAST revealed deficiencies in the strength of the ties, and in the adequacy of current lab tests used to evaluate composite ties. Test results are being used in the development of improved lab tests.

Tonnage on full-section, higher-hardness thermite welds reached 80 MGT with no failures, and minimal weld deformation. Although more tonnage is needed before reaching final conclusions, these welds have shown performance that is better than that of conventional thermite welds.

Joseph LoPresti

Joseph LoPresti