RM Rail, member of the Russian Aluminium Association, has started assembling an aluminium alloy mineral hopper model 19-1299.

The car is designed for transportation of various cargoes, including mineral fertilisers, it can also be used for grain and other bulk cargoes. The design provides for the use of an innovative 25 tnf axle load bogie.

Unlike the previous generation model, this hopper has half a ton lower tare weight and increased carrying capacity (79 tons). Body volume is 111 cubic meters. This was achieved by applying of a new aluminium alloy 1581 alloyed with scandium.

Alloy 1581 is a proprietary design of the Russian material scientists, which was inspired by space. It was during the exploration of outer space in Russia that scandium-containing Al alloys were first used. The alloy features high strength and weldability. These properties ensured creation of a strong and lightweight structure using modern friction stir welding technology. That said, due to optimal scandium content, the cost of semi-finished products does not differ much from that of conventional aluminium alloy products.

Upon completion of certification testing, the aluminium hopper will be put in operation in 2022.

The creation of freight and passenger cars with enhanced characteristics is possible through the development of new aluminium alloys and R&D. There are three ongoing projects: mineral hopper, tank car and tank container. In the near future we expect the paradigm shift in the Russian railway market that will lead to achieving a balance in car fleet and accelerated replacement of outmoded rolling stock with innovative cars using newest aluminium alloys” – comments Andrey Garkavenko, head of railway transport and infrastructure at the Russian Aluminium Association (right).

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