Electric traction is a complex energy supply system for electric locomotives. One of the most important components of this system, to ensure continuous current flow, is a pantograph contact strip. It is a part of pantograph located on top of traction vehicles which allows them to move within the electric traction through constant sliding contact with contact wires. This paper presents method of fabrication and selected properties of metallic-carbon composite materials dedicated for sliding strips used in railway systems. Porous carbon materials prepared for metal infiltration were produced by mixing of carbon powders with a binder, extrusion of the resultant slurry through a suitably profiled die, thermal debinding and sintering. Developed carbon materials are characterised by open porosity in the range of 4-15% calculated by the difference in weight for the same volume of tested samples. Obtained carbon materials were next impregnated by molten zinc and tin with the use of gas-pressure infiltration process. The results showed that mechanical properties and electrical resistivity of obtained materials were enhanced as a result of metal impregnation. Additionally, microstructural characterization of the composites showed structure of the interpenetrating network of phases, the absence of unfilled pores and good cohesion at the carbon – metal interface.Keywords: Railway, railway traction, carbon strips, current collector, metal impregnation
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