Mobile 3D Printing and Welding Techniques for Fixing Train Rail Wear and Damage On Site



Invention Summary


A device that uses 3D printing to fix railway wear/damage. The 3D printer moves directly along the railway, thus allowing for convenient, on-site repair. Using 3D print metal powders, the repair will have the same dimensions and type of material while retaining or enhancing the strength of the original segment.


Market Opportunity


According to IBISWorld, increased government investment and private-public partnerships has benefitted the $8.3B track construction industry. In fact, with annual growth expected to increase from 1.7% to 2.3% over the next five years, key measures such as increased freight transportation and federal funding for transportation will contribute to this growth.  The rail maintenance services industry is also worth $7.5B and has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% over the last five years.


IBISWorld indicated that new track construction takes up the majority of the track construction industry’s segmentation at 54.9%, track maintenance boasts 26.2% of the total segmentation. The large percentage dedicated to new track construction will benefit the track maintenance industry as new track begins to wear and damage. Overall, the growth of the industry and advantageous segmentation within the industry indicates that this is an opportune time for new railway maintenance innovations and technologies to emerge.


Features and Benefits


•       On-site and on-rail design allows ease of use and increased convenience

•       3D printing technology allows for increases accuracy and efficiency in repairs and maintenance

•       Mobile submerged arc welding (SAW) equipment moves along the rail and allows for precise and localized on-site repair

•       Each device carries metal/composite powders that provide the same or better mechanical strength of the original rail


Intellectual Property


US Provisional Patent No.: 62/613,895


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Zachary Miles
Associate Vice President for Technology & Partnerships
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Zhiyong (John) Wang
Hualiang (Harry) Teng
Seyed Mohamad Mortazavian
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