India Inc India Inc: Monday, 30 April 2012 14:20

Tata Steel installs SilentTrack technology in UK

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tataIndian steel giant Tata Steel has installed railway tracks that will reduce train noise in the UK. The new tracks, at Blackfriars station in London, are the first-of-its-kind to be installed in the country and will reduce noise by up to 50 per cent at one of the capital’s busiest railway stations.

The SilentTrack technology has been developed by British acoustic experts from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton and engineers of Tata Steel.

Extensive technical safety tests have also been conducted on it to check that it does not interfere with railway operation or maintenance.

The installation of 1.3 km of SilentTrack is part of the Thameslink Programme – a major project that will bring about big improvements to three central London stations by 2018.

Globally, more than 140 km of these tracks are already under operation in 13 countries.

SilentTrack uses patented dampers attached to the sides of the track to absorb vibration in the rail as a train moves over it. The dampers are made in Britain and consist of steel encased in a rubber-like material that is acoustically tuned to the track.

Meanwhile, Tata Steel is also considering plans to commercially exploit a few of its over 1,200 patents in India and abroad by licensing them out to other steel manufacturers.

The world’s seventh largest steel-maker has around 330 granted patents in India and 900 patents globally for various technologies and processes.

It is working on a technology that aims to double the useable coal from mines, thereby reducing dependence on imported coal. If successful, the firm will consider making the technology available to firms in the power and steel sector.

Other Tata Group firms could follow suit and consider licensing out patented technologies as well. 

 Tata Motors, India’s largest automaker and owner of Jaguar Land Rover, alone has around 833 patents.

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