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ESAB’s Tramtrac II equipment, in conjunction with a welding power source and self-shielding wires, can simplify repairs to the worn inside and outside running edges of embedded rails and railheads.

The Tramtrac II is a small, lightweight (12kg) welding tractor and wire-feed unit designed specifically for repairing embedded tram rails.

Unlike SAW processes that might need substantial equipment installed in a 20ft (6m) shipping container or similar, the Tramtrac II, the welding power source and the 20kVA generator can be readily carried in a pick-up truck.

The tractor unit is said to be simple and quick to mount on the rail and remove again, which makes it feasible to repair rails while trams are still running, without having to take possession of the track.

As well as an integral wire-feed unit, the Tramtrac II incorporates controls for travel speed, wire-feed speed, inching and start/stop of the welding process.

ESAB recommends the Origo Mig 410 for use with the Tramtrac II equipment.

This is a heavy-duty, step-switched power source that delivers 400A/34V at a 50 per cent duty cycle and is suitable for the needs of welding 1.2mm and 1.6mm flux-cored welding wires.

It can be used with cables up to 35m long and the unit benefits from a galvanised casing and special software to ensure reliability in applications such as tram rail repairs.

An optional digital meter provides an accurate display of the welding parameters; the display remains visible even after welding has finished.

There are two self-shielded, austenitic welding wires that ESAB offers for tram rail welding applications: OK Tubrodur 14.71 and OK Tubrodur 15.65.

Both of these FCAW wires achieve excellent material properties on high-carbon R260 (UIC 900A) grade rails with no need for preheating, according to the company.

This means that operators do not need to wear breathing apparatus for protection from the fumes generated when rubber anti-noise/-vibration mountings are subjected to heat.

The self-shielding nature of the welding wires eliminates the need to use shielding gases, which saves money and simplifies logistics.

Both OK Tubrodur 14.71 and OK Tubrodur 15.65 generate minimal slag, thereby helping to minimise the time on site and the costs associated with waste disposal.

Tramtrac II units are already being used to repair rails in Riga (Latvia) and Gothenburg (Sweden).

Equipment repairs typically only require minimal post-weld grinding.

As part of ESAB, a world leading supplier of welding and cutting solutions, ESAB Group (UK) Ltd have access to a product research and development programme, the envy of the welding industry.

The brand is synonymous with world leading expertise  and today the company produces consumables and equipment for virtually every welding and cutting process and application.

As a logical step following his invention of the covered welding electrode back in 1904, Oscar Kjellberg founded ESAB. Since then, the company has constantly improved on existing methods and materials. At the same time, ESAB has developed new methods to meet the challenge presented by technological progress.

More than 100 years of continuous research, development and manufacture have made ESAB a world leader in welding, cutting and also an international supplier of products, know-how and services that none can match.

At is UK headquarters, ESAB Group (UK) Ltd have a team of highly experienced and qualified staff who are always available to offer help and advice on all aspects of welding and cutting. 

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