Tata Steel announced it will invest more than $15 million in new technology to produce longer wear-resistant rails at its French steel mill. The new technology will enable Tata Steel to heat treat rails of up to 108 meters in length at its Hayange facility in France. Heat-treated rail can last up to three times longer than standard rail when used in high wear conditions such as heavy traffic, high axle loads or tight curves. The new heat-treatment plant will be in addition to an existing heat-treatment line at the Hayange mill that can process rail of up to 36 meters in length. The new facility, which is expected to be completed by autumn 2013, will double the annual output of heat-treated rail from 55,000 to 120,000 metric tons.

Tata Steel’s heat-treated rail is produced using a patented process that ensures it has exceptional wear resistance. The rail moves through an induction furnace that uses an electromagnetic field to heat the steel to 950°C. The rail is then rapidly cooled using compressed air. Rail production will not be affected by the construction project.