Within the import substitution framework, the PJSC «Research and production corporation «United Wagon Company» («RPC UWC» or the Holding) (MOEX: UWGN), the market leader in innovative railcar building in the 1520 mm gauge area, has started bulk manufacture of austempered ductile iron (ADI) components. The annual production capacity is 30,000 railcar sets. The total investments exceeded RUB 1 billion.
UWC has become the first company to launch a large-scale production of ADI in Russia. The production capacity is enough to meet the needs of the Tikhvin railcar building facilities for the key wear resistant elements of a freight car bogie, used to ensure that its run life is no less than 1 million km. No other CIS freight car manufacturer is currently able to guarantee such performance.
The project has been implemented using the best global manufacturing practices and equipment successfully proven in the US and Europe. The highly robotized state-of-the-art production plant in Tikhvin has mastered and utilizes the following three processes: the production of bainitic ductile iron by austempering, precision machining of parts made of extra hard materials, and high induction hardening and quenching.
The austempering process began to be applied in the USSR in the 70-80s of the last century. However, its mass industrial application was impeded by the difficulty to achieve homogeneity of the results. Until now, Russia has had no manufacturer of ADI parts able to provide the required stability in austempering parameters along with a high production capacity.Austempered ductile iron, placed into a separate class (ADI) under the international classification, shows the highest tensile strength - more than 1,200 MPa. Having a large potential as a construction material, ADI combines both of steel strength and cast iron durability, which makes it an efficient substitute for a wide range of steels used in highly-loaded structures of vehicles, agricultural and construction machinery, metallurgical equipment, etc.