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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Grease institute publishes Portec Rail alliance partner's paper on soybean-based rail curve lubricant


Last month, the National Lubricating Grease Institute published a technical paper by Environmental Lubricants Mfg. Inc. (ELM) President and Chief Executive Officer Lou Honary on the approval process for the Biotechbased™ SoyTrak™ rail curve lubricant.

The University of Northern Iowa's Ag-Based Industrial Lubricants (ABIL) Research Program spent nearly three years working with Portec Rail Products Inc., Transportation Technology Center Inc. and Norfolk Southern Corp. to develop a soybean oil-based rail curve lubricant. The paper reviews lab, controlled field and user field tests, and modifications made to improve SoyTrak's performance.

The grease has achieved the developers' goals of "excellent" anti-wear qualities, column strength, viscosity index, carry-down characteristics and film strength, retentivity and "superior" resistance to rain wash off, according to the paper.

Since submitting the paper, the developers have introduced a multi-season formulation of SoyTrak designed to eliminate seasonal grease changeover.

Formerly part of ABIL, ELM is part of Portec Rail Products Friction Force® Alliance, which offers friction management and lubrication products, and serves as the authorized SoyTrak distributor. Portec Rail also supplies rail joints, anchors and spikes, wayside data collection and management systems, and load securement systems.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/23/2004