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Stainless Steel In Railway

Stainless steel has been a preferred material in railway applications worldwide on account of its longer life, higher strength to-weight ratio, aesthetic appearance & corrosion resistance. Its durability and minimal maintenance requirements makes stainless steel a better choice economically. Benefitted by energy saving lightweight design and 100% recyclability at the end of service life, stainless steel can be qualified as environmental friendly material. Bright contemporary finish of stainless steel has further strengthened the applicability of stainless steel in rail industry. In addition, stainless steel does not require protective paint coatings which further reduce maintenance cost.

Many stainless steel grades are in use in railways operations today. Austenitic stainless steel grades 301LN, 201, 301, 201LN and 304 have been used in the construction of railway coaches, while ferritic stainless steel 409M/IRSM 44 97 and Nitronic 30 have been used for freight wagons.

Stainless Steel in Passenger trains & Metro Coaches:

Various austenitic stainless steel of chrome-nickel and chrome-manganese varieties, chemical composition and mechanical properties listed below, have been used for manufacture of passenger trains and metros.

Chemical Composition:
Jindal Designation UNS %C (max.) %Mn (max.) %Si (max.) %Cr %Ni %N (max.) %Cu others
J 201 S20100 0.15 5.5 - 7.5 1.00 16-18 3.5-5.5 0.25 - -
J 201L S20103 0.030 5.5 - 7.5 0.75 16-18 3.5-5.5 0.25 - -
J 201LN S20153 0.030 6.4-7.5 0.75 16-17.5 4-5 0.10-0.25 1.00 -
IA 201   0.15 15 min. - 14.5 min. 1 max 0.25 - -
J 204Cu S20430 0.10 6.50-9.00 0.75 16 -17.5 1.5-3.5 0.10 - 0.25 1.50 – 3.50 -
J 301 S30100 0.15 2.00 1.00 16-18 6-8 0.10 - -
J 301L S30103 0.03 2.00 1.00 16-18 6-8 0.20 - -
J 301LN S30153 0.03 2.00 1.00 16-18 6-8 0.07-0.20 - -
J 304 S30400 0.07 2.00 0.75 17.5-19.5 8-10.5 0.10 - -
  S42035 0.08 1 1 13.5-15.5 1.0-2.5 - - Mo 0.2-1.2, Ti 0.3-0.5
Mechanical Properties:
Jindal Designation UNS U.T.S (Mpa) (min.) 0.2% Y.S (Mpa) (min.) % Elongation in 50mm, (min.) Hardness HRB (max.)
J 201 S20100 655 310 40 100
J 201L S20103 655 260 40 95
J 201LN S20153 655 310 45 100
J 301 S30100 515 205 40 95
J 204Cu S20430 620 310 40 100
J 301L S30103 550 220 45 100
J301LN S30153 550 240 45 100
J 304 S30400 515 205 40 92
S42035 550 380 16 88

These steels develop very high strength coupled with good formability in cold rolled tempers and constitute ideal material for structural components. The exceptional strength to weight ratio and energy absorption capacity enables the designers to reduce weight and enhance crash worthiness while ensuring longer life span due to superior corrosion resistance.

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