We have a wealth of knowledge on the subject of rails. The approach used for selecting rails differs around the world. Rails are not always rolled out as frequently as industry demands. Thus we often suggest alternative or equivalent rails to customers.
There are well over 100 rail selections to choose from. The main types are as follows:
- Crane rails with thick webs
- Railway-style rails with relatively thin webs
- Sections which are rectangular but which have flanges to form a foot
The crane supplier may suggest a rail but if they do not then, as a minimum, he should supply the head width of the rail. In designing or checking an installation, it is our practice to check that the rail will be suitable.
- We check if the head width is adequate
- We check if the web is strong enough
- We check if the steel grade is suitable for the duty and life expected
A problem arises when a rail is chosen that is infrequently rolled out. Steel Mills normally concentrate on rolling out commonly used products and crane rails are not always given priority. As a consequence we often have to suggest an alternative. As there may be insufficient information to carry out a full check of the rail, we have developed systems that will give a good measure of confidence at an early stage in the project cycle.
Crane rail steels are formulated to give high wear resistance together with a suitable tensile strength. The strength ranges from 550 N/mm to 1100 N/mm but is typically in the 600 to 900 N/mm range.
With many types and selections of rails, some rails are able to use discontinuous sole plate mounting and some (especially A-Rail) have to use the continuous sole plate mounting only.