Research and production corporation “United Wagon Company” (UWC or the Company) (MOEX: UWGN), the largest producer of freight cars in Russia1, and EuroChem, one of the leading global producers of mineral fertilizers, have signed a contract on the supply of a batch of 15-6901 model tank cars running on 25 t axle load bogies. The cars will be delivered to Novomoskovskiy Azot (part of EuroChem Group) by the end of the year to be used for the transportation of concentrated nitric acid.
With a loading capacity of 75 t and a tank volume of 54.78 m3, the model 15-6901 tank cars differ significantly from standard models that are widely available on the market. These specifications will allow the consignor to increase loads by one third per car.
In view of the highly hazardous nature of the transported freight, the car’s tank is made from AD0-grade aluminium, which has guaranteed physical characteristics and a performance rating 40% higher than the rolled stock used in standard models. The tank is manufactured using the friction stir welding technique, which has a number of advantages compared with fusion welding. This significantly reduces the likelihood of joint defects, minimizes harmful environmental impacts, and increases the joint’s strength and flexibility indicators by 10% compared to the original state of the material.
The tank and discharge system are airtight, the valve is equipped with a safety membrane, and the car uses a modern discharge valve lined with an acid-resistant polymer, ensuring that the freight is safely isolated from the tank car’s operating personnel and the environment. The possibility of installing a radar level sensor ensures the contact-free, accurate measurement of the tank fill level for a wide range of product temperatures in a chemically active environment.
The service life of the 15-6901 model is 40 years, compared with 20 years for current mass market tank car models. The model 18-9855 bogie is a significant advantage for the tank car, allowing for an increase in the maintenance interval up to 1 million km (or eight years). For comparison, standard models are sent for their first depot repair after running 210,000 km (or two years).
Boris Myagkov, Deputy CEO for Commerce and Marketing at United Wagon Company: “Tank cars for transporting concentrated nitric acid are among the most technically advanced products in our company’s portfolio and in fact offer a unique transportation solution for today’s domestic market. The product represents the successful synergy between progressive thinking and modern production sites. UWC acted as the developer and manufacturer of the rolling stock, while Arconic SMZ, the largest Russian enterprise manufacturing high-tech semi-finished aluminium products, supplied corrosion-resistant aluminium plates, and Sespel, a leading manufacturer of specialized equipment based in Cheboksary, carried out welding work on the tanks. This partnership has allowed us to develop effective rolling stock that can respond to the new market realities and meet the high standards of the transportation industry.”
Rolling stock from the 1980s with a tank volume of 40 m3 and loading capacity of 57.3 t is still being used for the transportation of concentrated nitric acid in the 1,520-mm track gauge area today. The fleet consists of around 200 cars. Despite traffic volumes being stable, the tank car fleet has not been updated in a long time, and the cars are on average 32 years old. Up to 80% of the fleet is forecast to be decommissioned in the coming years as a result of physical depreciation. The remaining cars can be declared obsolete, as using them reduces the economic and environmental efficiency of transportation.
1Data sourced from INFOLine-Analytics: https://infoline.spb.ru/news/?news=162724