Railway Dust: Removing the Industrial Fallout from Exterior Rolling Stock - Railway Technology
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Railway Dust: Removing the Industrial Fallout from Exterior Rolling Stock

Railway dust, also known as brake dust or industrial fallout, is an ongoing issue for anyone concerned with the smooth maintenance of railways and rolling stock.

Here we discuss these fine metal particulates and how CHELA helps rail operators manage this persistent menace.

What is break dust?

When a train’s brake pad rubs against the rotor, and the wheels against the rails, fine particles are produced, known as metal particulates. This process creates the railway dust that causes iron stain.

How is it produced?

All vehicles produce their own variant. However, the vast, industrial nature of railways and the safety considerations of transporting huge numbers of people each year, makes the efficient management of brake dust an ongoing problem across the railway industry.

What problems can it cause?

The problem is much more than cosmetic. If left untreated, the fine particles will build up over time corroding copper solder joins and electric circuits. Furthermore, the build-up can trap moisture. This will increase the effects of corrosion and can lead to a general deterioration of rolling stock.

Is break dust dangerous for humans?

There are health issues surrounding the inhalation of break dust, and many reports that it can lead to terminal illnesses such as cancer. As such, we strongly recommend a structured and ongoing programme of maintenance to ensure the removal of iron stain from all rolling stock.

How can CHELA help with iron stain removal?

CHELA supplies a number of leading rail companies with its specialist iron stain cleaning solution Eurowash ISR SheenPlus.

The product has been especially designed to remove ingrained iron stain either manually or with the use of automatic ash equipment.

It has been carefully tested and assessed by ESG Scientifics, the UK’s leading provider of testing, inspection and compliance services. We are pleased to say that it consistently outperforms other industry-standard acid products.

As well as dealing thoroughly and effectively with the issue of brake dust and iron stain, Eurowash ISR SheenPlus has also been designed to leave a high gloss sheen on all rolling stock.

This repels soiling and ensures high presentation levels, whilst also reducing cleaning times.

We have designed the product to the highest specification, making it safe to use across all rolling stock exteriors.

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