British Steel Delivers World Firsts With Enhanced Zinoco® Coated Rail

8 February 2021 | British Steel


British Steel has unveiled 2 world firsts with major upgrades to its Zinoco® coated rail.

When the company launched the Zinoco rail corrosion protection system in 2016 it was a revolutionary product that could withstand some of the harshest corrosive environments such as coastal lines, level crossings and wet tunnels. Rail in these areas can become contaminated with salt, water, minerals and biological matter so need a tough, durable solution, which Zinoco provides.

Today, the UK manufacturer has revealed an enhanced range with ground-breaking longer length rails with even greater protection. You can view a video about our new Zinoco here.

British Steel’s Commercial Director Rail Craig Harvey said: “Building on Zinoco ’s success in track, and a seven-figure investment in new equipment, we’re delighted to launch the world’s first ultra-long corrosion-protected rail in a single 108m piece – or 216m with a single weld.

“The new and improved Zinoco is also the world’s first rail with a super-hydrophobic finish that repels water and dirt. Available in any length from 9m to 216m, the new finish enhances the protection Zinoco offers, further reducing the frequency of rail replacement programmes, which impact on network operators and passengers.”

The new long-length Zinoco, which was developed at British Steel’s Scunthorpe headquarters, has all the benefits of its shorter counterparts, offering exceptional corrosion protection with a typical life extension of 5 to 10 times.

It achieves the highest levels of durability through excellent impact and abrasion resistance, and also provides sacrificial cathodic protection – an electro-chemical reaction which occurs when the anode sacrifices itself in favour of the cathode. The resulting flow of electrons prevents a corrosive chemical reaction.

With Zinoco coated rail, the zinc rich (anode) coating corrodes in preference to the steel (cathode), therefore preventing the steel from corroding. The zinc oxide creates a strong barrier to further corrosion – in this way the protection of the metal is guaranteed, even when the zinc layer is damaged.

Another benefit of British Steel’s long-length Zinoco is the need for fewer welds which makes installation quicker and gives the rails greater integrity. Suitable for any track environment, including third (live current) and fourth (negative) rail areas, Zinoco is available on any grade and any profile. And it has become the only rail corrosion protection system approved for use across all Network Rail infrastructure.

Craig said: “British Steel is committed to delivering cost-effective and innovative solutions to help our customers overcome the challenges they face and Zinoco is a great example of this and the world-class products we manufacture.”

Notes to Editors

Media Contacts

David Atkin: +44 (0)1724 406898

Liz Brown: +44 (0)1724 402090 

About British Steel

We’ve been making iron for 155 years and steel for 130. Now under the ownership of Jingye, one of China’s leading steelmakers, we’re embarking on a major modernisation programme that will significantly improve our manufacturing operations, energy efficiency and environmental performance.

We manufacture more than 1,450 different specifications of steel that is rolled into wire rod, sections, special profiles, rail, billet, bloom and slab. We employ more than 4,000 people, around 300 of whom are in the Netherlands. Our headquarters are at our integrated steelworks in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, where we’ve 4 blast furnaces – 2 of which are currently operational. Other facilities include:

  •  Teesside Beam Mill, Lackenby
  • Special Profiles, Skinningrove
  • FN Steel, Netherlands
  • Port facility, Immingham Bulk Terminal
  • Rail logistics hub, Lecco, Italy
  • Engineering business, Workington
  • R&D centre, Sheffield
  • Associated distribution facilities in Newport and Dublin
  • Service centres in Teesside, Darlington and Lisburn
  • International sales offices
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