In the 70 year history of the company, this year has seen more R&D than ever at Lovells Springs .
Faced with the request to make a higher performance spring set for the oversize 3700 class electric loco s on the Queensland coalfields for Queensland Rail from a 220 kg 12 metre long bar, our team trialled many steel grades, ably assisted by John Carlton from OneSteel Research.
Laboratory tests showed that there was need to change for such an unusual application, made from 54 mm diameter raw material.
The grades used previously met the requirements of AS2903, but Lovells have recently opted to comply with DIN 13906 and UIC822 for all future loco spring production.
These are particularly stringent with respect to through hardness and decarburization layer thickness.
A 5159 grade has been thus adopted and results have revealed improved behaviour under static creep and fatigue tests in the Lovells test rig.
A recent visit from Siemens Transportation Systems in Graz, Austria has resulted in orders for similar 200kg plus spring orders from Europe.