Zinoco Corrosion Protection

For corrosive rail environments like coastal track, wet tunnels, level crossings and stray current environments, Zinoco® ensures maximum rail life.

With superior durability and corrosion protection for rails our industry award-winning Zinoco is simple to install and maintain, delivering improved safety and availability of rail networks.

Find out more in our video

Protection in harsh conditions

British Steel has a long history of providing solutions to customer issues. Our Zinoco coated rail is an example that provides corrosion protection to rails in harsh corrosive conditions. Locations that typically give rise to corrosion issues are:

  • Level crossing / railroad crossing / grade crossing
  • Tunnel / Underpass / Overbridge
  • Coastal routes
  • Sabkhas (salt pans)
  • Third rail stray current locations

Corrosive environments can reduce rail life vastly, with unprotected rail lifetimes below six months being reported in some instances. Whilst loss of rail section due to corrosion can occur generally or in more localised areas (e.g. around rail fastenings) it is also important to note that foot fatigue failures often occur as a result of foot corrosion. Corrosion pits (often unseen) on the bottom of the rail can initiate fatigue cracks which can then grow undetected, resulting in rail failure.

The corrosion protection performance of Zinoco coated rail has been validated in both laboratory tests and track tests with Network Rail, SNCF (as part of the IDR2 group) and RATP. 

The proven performance and protection offered by Zinoco in long rail form for tunnels and coastal regions has been recognised in the recent extended approval for lengths up to 216m by Network Rail. Here are the first long length rail deliveries being used to protect in a wet tunnel environment. 

Sacrificial (cathodic) protection for damage tolerance

Most rail coatings provide a barrier to corrosion by preventing air, water and salts from coming into contact with the steel rail. 

Zinoco provides an excellent barrier to corrosion with greatly enhanced impact resistance compared to previous coatings, but it also has a key second method of defence by providing sacrificial protection, even if areas of the coating have been breached. See how it works here.

Super-Hydrophobic surface treatment

Since its inception in 2016, Zinoco has undergone further developments and as of January 2021 is the world’s first rail with a super-hydrophobic finish. This surface treatment uses nanotechnology to keep the rail dry. It repels any contaminants, so prevents prolonged contact between the rail and any corrosive material and also creates a self-cleaning effect. And, as we seal the rail coating without isolating it electrically, it also ensures Zinoco’s stray current tolerance remains fully intact.

Our seven-figure investment in new facilities has also allowed us to produce the world's first ultra-long corrosion-protected rail in a single 108m piece – or 216m with a single weld. 

If you would like us to send you an interactive presentation on Zinoco then contact us here.

Zinoco® is a registered trademark of British Steel