4 Types of Fasteners Used Within Rail Construction
Blindbolt UK | 24th March 2021
In rail construction, there are typically 4 main fastener types that each have their own unique selling points and uses. These fastener types being blind bolts, fang bolts, spring spikes and screw spikes.
Blind Bolt Fasteners
Blind Bolts are the top fastening choice for a high number of rail construction projects, as they allow all manner of work to be undertaken with the least amount of disruption for those who still need to use travel services. It's a reputable, reliable, high performance fixing solution that has been certified as the best fastening when installing AWS (automatic warning system) units securely onto steel sleepers. AWS units have been the backbone of the rail safety system, so these units must be fitted in a safe and convenient way - blind bolt fasteners fulfil every need and expectations, making for the best choice.
They combine ease of use, convenience, super strength and durability, providing those in the rail industry with ultimate peace of mind. You won't need any special tools to utilise Blind Bolts, making them an ideal match for infrastructure maintenance and construction projects. In many cases, access can be limited, and disruption must be kept to a minimum, so tasks must be carried out in a quick, efficient manner
Fang bolts, which are also known as rail anchor bolts, are placed inside a hole in a sleeper to fasten in place. They're specially designed to create a fanged shape that grips onto the lower surface of the sleeper, making sure the entire piece of equipment is completely unable to shift or move in any direction.
This unique design makes the fang bolts more resistant to movement on the tracks, which of course is a major concern when you must consider that an average train weighs several tons and can cause serious vibrations. They are said to be a lot more reliable than regular screws, and as a result of this, they tend to be used in more delicate locations like the switch tie plate. Fang bolts can also be used to fix the railing on sharp, abrupt twists and turns, so they are very functional fasteners for several aspects of the rail construction industry
Spring spikes, which are also referred to as elastic spikes, hold the rail track secure in its place to prevent it from moving or tipping. These are generally very large in size and can be installed inside a hole that has been pre-drilled into the sleeper.
Screw spikes are big fasteners that are usually used to attach a tie plate to the railway track. The installation process requires a hole drilled within the sleeper, which can then house the screw spike for ultimate security. Although they are often more costly compared with alternatives such as rail spikes, one of the major selling points of screw spikes is their immense fixing power. They can also be combined with spring washers to increase functionality. Generally, the cost of maintaining railways when screw spikes are in place is far lower than when simple rail spikes are used.
Interested in finding out more about blind bolt fasteners and if they are the right fastener choice for your project? Check out our guide to discover what a blind bolt is, and what blind bolts are used for by clicking here.
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