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Chinese train wheels’ life cycle extended, VTT introduces new cost effective technology


VTT Technical research Centre of Finland, has signed a license agreement with a Chinese company Shanxi Fenxi Heavy Industry Co.,Ltd. The agreement gives Shanxi Fenxi exclusive rights in China in renewing deteriorated train wheels with VTT developed PSF i.e. Precision Spray Forming technology. The technology is protected with several patents and can bring in significant savings and benefits compared to traditional technologies.

The technology is based on a method where molten alloy is sprayed directly on the deteriorated train wheel. This results in a rapid solidification that leads to fine microstructure without segregation, leading to high workability and wear performance. The method has been developed to manufacture cast moulds where it shortens the production time from months to days and lowers the costs with 30-50 percent. PSF technology has been developed by VTT’s Senior Research Scientist Yunfeng Yang and is protected with four patents.

The Chinese railway network stretches over 88 000 km. There are 650 000 freight cars and 42 600 passenger cars. The new technology strongly supports sustainable development as over one million deteriorated train wheels have been removed yearly in China and there has not been any suitable technology to fix them. The capacity of the equipment that will be constructed for the fixing of the train wheels can fix 100 000 wheels per year. According to the contract, VTT will take part in the planning and implementation of the equipment.

Shanxi Fenxi Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. is situated in the city of Tayian in the province of Shanxi and is a subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation. The company turnover in 2006 was over 900.000.000 Yuan RMB i.e. 90 million Euros and it employs over 3000 people.



More information

Yang Yunfeng
Senior Research Scientist

Juhani Pesälä
Business Development Manager