Source: Eplus3D post

HANGZHOU, China — In the past few years, we have witnessed that 3D printing has been adopted by many different industries, from automobile to aviation industry. Urban transportation indeed benefits a lot from metal 3D printing. Railway is no exception.

The railway sector obviously needs a lot of high-quality parts. The safe and stable operation of a train is inseparable from the long-term maintenance and functionality guarantee the manufacturers of such equipment are in need to provide.

When there is a need to replace parts, but no replacement parts are in storage, the railway provider needs to contact the manufacturer to provide them quickly.

At this time, the management cost as well as cost for spare parts procurement will be relatively high. With the rapid development of 3D printing technology, this technology is applied for assisting in train operation and maintenance, providing customized parts and replacing damaged parts. Compared with the traditional manufacturing processing, 3D printing has a faster response and is more cost-effective.

The speed of high-speed railways can reach 350 km/h or higher. Although it’s relatively easy to drive, it’s difficult to stop. The main difficulty is that while braking, each train carriage weighing more than 60 tons will produce huge inertia, which generates huge kinetic energy, resulting into heating up of the brake discs due to friction while braking.

As a consequence, the brake pads and brake discs should not only withstand the high temperature around 900 °C, but also ensure its good performance at the same time. It also needs to be able to work normally even in harsh environments such as rain, snow, sand and or dust. In recent years, the R&D and production technology of high-speed railway pads and brake discs has gradually made breakthroughs.

With the in-depth integration of metal 3D printing technology into railway industry, metal 3D manufacturers start to explore the application of metal 3D printing technology for performance improvements of brake pads and brake discs. Eplus3D, as a Chinese leading AM manufacturer, also enters into railway industry with its large-format metal AM machines.

Earlier this year, Eplus3D cooperated with a railway company to provide them with a tailored metal AM solution by printing several braking discs with its large-format metal AM machine EP-M650 (quad-laser).

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