Quality Control on elements from the superstructure of the high speed line Mecca – Medina

One year ago, Ibertest was selected by COPASA, Member of Al Shoula Consortium, for the installation, in their Quality Control Laboratory in Saudi Arabia, of testing and verification systems of the elements from the superstructure of tracks that were under their responsibility (rails, sleepers, gutters, etc.). The elements constituent of the track and therefore, their Quality Control, are crucial as it’s the single point of contact between the train and the superstructure of tracks, and this, in high speed networks and under the extreme conditions of operation existing in the Arabian Peninsula, are a world-class challenge. Therefore, the control systems requested to Ibertest should adapt reliably to the different stages of the construction of the elements to be tested and under severe demands of regulations and productivity.

Three facilities were designed for this purpose: The first one, formed by an automatic compression-bending system, of 3000 kN and 100 kN respectively of max capacity, able to cope quick and accurately to the high number of tests on concrete specimens manufactured “in-situ”, without losing sight of the pace of work that the construction demands.

After that, one of the manufacturing with more responsibility, sleepers, should also be verified according to EN 12320-2 standard.

So we designed a servo-controlled Bending Test System, of 500 kN of capacity (and controlled from computer too) equipped with a sleepers feeding device, which guarantees a suitable rate of positioning of the specimen and its automatic testing process.

Another request to which we had to respond was that of the assurance of quality, by static bending (2000 kN) of the special rails to be mounted on the track board and that are welded by the “Flash Butt welding” process

Ibertest who has a wide experience in this type of tests, has already delivered several installations for static and dynamic tests (Adif, Felguera Rail, Matériel Ferroviaire d’ Arbérats, Voestalpine, etc.) that allow the determination of the quality of the rails welding under inspection, according to EN 14730-2 standard. This is a strict standard to check the elasticity and resistance in welded areas.

Now completed the first year of work of the mentioned facilities in Saudi Arabia, Ibertest After-Sales Technical specialists have proceeded to the preventive maintenance of these three installations, in the laboratory that there has COPASA.

The work concluded with the calibration by ENAC, certification valid internationally by the agreement of mutual recognition ILAC-MRA, of all the test systems supplied by Ibertest