Railroads demand high-quality, durable rail components capable of withstanding tremendous loads and stresses. We combine over 75 years of railway experience and rail quality analysis with our material characterization capabilities – including metallurgy, mechanical strength, and fatigue testing - to ensure your materials can endure the most challenging of rail conditions.

From microscopic examinations and fatigue testing to mechanical testing and failure analysis, our focus is to not only validate the quality of your materials but to ensure your rail components are safe and fit for purpose for any rail application, in any condition. Our rail expertise comes straight from the field and we continuously improve our competencies and know-how by working directly with some of the world’s largest railroads. 

Material Characterization Techniques for Rail

Element’s rail testing laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment specifically designed to address the industry’s toughest challenges. We use a variety of equipment types to perform a wide-range of QA rail tests including:

  • Magnetic particle testing
  • Surface condition check (verification)
  • Rail section dimensional check
  • Microstructure
  • Macroetch (surface ground)
  • Clean steel evaluation
  • Residual stress
  • Hardness surveys (surface ground)
  • Chemical composition (full spectrum)
  • Tensile testing
  • Martensite evaluation (per weld)
The Element Advantage

Our industry-dedicated material characterization rail experts have invaluable experience with rail component fatigue testing, QA rail analysis and failure analysis. These testing capabilities, coupled with our vast industry knowledge, makes us the ideal testing partner for your rail projects. Serving markets across North America and across the globe, Element’s state-of-the-art rail testing facility is equipped with unique frames and capabilities including our one-of-a-kind AREMA Chapter 30 test 6 train simulator, making us a recognized leader in rail testing. 

No matter what your project requirements, we are dedicated to ensuring that your products, materials and processes are safe, effective and fit for purpose. For more information about how particle analysis testing services can benefit your project, or request a quote, contact us today.


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