Best method for finishing rails
Many customers employ rails as a structural element of their design and need them finished to a specific color for aesthetics or branding purposes. U-Channel rails are available at lengths up to 6 meters long, and supplied ready-to-finish. Customers have the option of ordering rails in this natural state, or they may order them pre-sandblasted and/or pre-oiled to prevent surface rust and mill scale build-up.
Customers should begin the finishing process by sandblasting unfinished rail to remove surface oxidation or corrosion. Next, add a powder coat in the desired color and thickness based on the intended environment. Powder coating provides a durable finish that will stand up to most applications. Remember, it is important to tape off the raceways beforehand to avoid changes in performance. Finally, apply a thin film of grease along the raceway for proper lubrication.
Best welding methods
PBC Linear recommends MIG as the preferred method of welding. We offer these extended guidelines listed below when MIG welding Hevi-Rail and Hevi-Rail Clamp Flanges to the frame of your assembly.
- Use a metal brush or grinder to remove rust or paint from surface to be welded.
- Bevel joint edges on metals thicker than 3/8” to ensure the weld fully penetrates to the base of the metal. (HVR-2, HVR-3, HVR-4, HVR-5 HVR-6, HVRI-08, HVRI-09, HVRI-10, HVRI-11.)
- Ensure that grounding clamp is engaged in clean metal.
- When welding HVR-S, HVR-0, HVR-1, HVRI-07 sections of Hevi-Rail it is recommended to use .03” diameter wire. A preferable grade wire for mild steel is ER70S-3.
- When welding thick sections of Hevi-Rail, it is recommended to use .035”-.045” ER70S-3 wire. Weld at a higher heat level to obtain a deep penetration. This is recommended for HVR-2, HVR-3, HVR-4, HVR-5 HVR-6, HVRI-08, HVRI-09, HVRI-10, and HVRI-11.
- A 75% Argon/25% Carbon Dioxide mix is a preferable general-purpose shielding gas when welding mild steels like Hevi-Rail.
- Know your load calculations. When in doubt, meet with your structural or mechanical engineer.
- Destructive testing facilities are recommended for testing weld strength. Periodic destructive testing ensures that the welding equipment and welding practices are yielding safe and strong welds.
- NEVER weld a mild steel Hevi-Rail product to a dissimilar metal such as cast iron, or stainless steel.
Rail alignment and parallelism
Most applications operate well with normal alignment procedures. If adjustability is needed, tap a hole in the clamp flange and use a bolt to push against the rail. When using bolts to hold a Clamp Flange, it is recommended that installers drill a detent in the top of the rail where the screw seats. Many customers use a drill point smaller than the minor diameter of the tap diameter to put a point in the rail. This is preferred in systems that have vibrations and harmonics in its environment. Some customers use bolts to align and assemble the system, then weld the clamp to the rail.
Standard twist = ½ degree/m, and standard straightness = ± .03 mm/m. If tighter accuracies are required, rails can be machined:
- in the raceways to increase straightness, running accuracy and precision.
- on the bottom or back to increase straightness or for mounting purposes.