Skip to main content

Return to overview


The 340 Dobain® HSH® is a rail steel developed and produced in Austria, representing a steel design preventing the initiation of Head Checks.

340 dobain hsh rail steel

Rolling contact fatigue defects are fundamental issues. In times of increasing transportation, the demand for more safety and customer satisfaction is the foundation of economic and social responsibility. This is where voestalpine as a steel pioneer assists and offers optimized and sustainable solutions to our customers – reverting to more than 100 years of experience in rail production, an exceptional expertise of engineers and unique portfolio of profiles and steel grades.

The R&D focus of voestalpine Rail Technology has always been on the development of high quality steels adapted to the specific fields of application. Supported by close customer contact and the application of LCC and RAMS strategies for our customers, voestalpine is familiar with the daily business of operators and their problems. This knowledge is collected and implemented in the development process of new rail steels – customer-based material design made in Donawitz, Austria.


  • Drastically reduced maintenance effort – no Head Checks
  • Low total Life Cycle Costs (LCC)
  • Evidently long service life
  • Easy-to-weld steel designs
  • Maximum safety


  • Innovative multiphase steel design
  • Highest material resistance  --> No Head Checks
  • Microstructure-related polishing
  • Increased safety
  • Joint and repair welding with standard  welding equipment
  • Result of intensive research
  • Extensive full-size laboratory testing
  • Approved in track
  • Highest toughness against fracture


The ultimate goal of voestalpine is to provide a product according to the needs of our customers. Of course this is only possible if we know and understand the problem.

Due to their microstructure, conventional pearlitic rail steels are susceptible to rolling contact fatigue (RCF). While voestalpine’s HSH® concept for pearlitic rail steels is able to improve the resistance against all typical rail defects and enables a delay of the Head Check initiation as well as crack growth, it is limited by its microstructure and steel design.

A simple mechanism. Nature knows many ways to adapt to harsh environments. One well known mechanism is self-cleaning or polishing – a feature some plants take advantage of to protect their surface and ensure their functionality.

The so-called Lotos effect. voestalpine’s highly experienced R&D team managed to apply this simple concept of nature to the rail development and launched a new dimension in rail steel.

Our solution - THE NEW DIMENSION IN RAIL STEEL. The new multiphase steel design of 340 Dobain® HSH® uses its microstructural features and prevents the formation of Head Checks. A self-polishing effect responds to the severe loading situation and reduces the deformation on the surface to a minimum. The Lotos effect applied to rails. As a result we are able to produce a rail with lowest maintenance needs.

340 Dobain® HSH® Lotos Effect


Our steel designers have been inspired by nature for your sustainable future. Following the systematics of the lotos leaf effect we present the 340 Dobain® HSH® as the first rail with microstructure polishing for optimized life cycle costs.

Choice of rail steel

As a full-range rail supplier, voestalpine offers the widest range of rail profiles and rail steels suiting all fields of application and maintenance concepts by combining our HSH® heat treatment with adjusted and new material concepts.

340 Dobain® HSH® Diagram
Following this rail grade recommendation leads to a technically, economically and ecologically optimized track.


Depending on the predominant rail defect mechanism we define suitable areas of application for our rail grades. For tracks susceptible to Head Checking the solution is our 340 Dobain® HSH®. In areas of increased wear and corrugation we recommend our other HSH® rails. Latest track experiences show that this rail grade strategy leads to the longest service life and due to the reduced maintenance, ultimately to the lowest life cycle costs.


For all premium rail steels, the HSH® technology allows for highest weldabilty and toughness by minimizing the amount of alloying elements.

  • HSH® Technology
  • No Head Checking  (340 Dobain® HSH®)
  • Lowest life cycle costs
  • Easy-to-weld
  • Lowest maintenance needs
  • High wear resistance  (400 UHC® HSH®)
  • The Dobain® material concept combined with the well-established HSH® technology creates a unique microstructure that is able to solve the mechanism of Head Check initiation on a physical level.

  • The UHC® steel design combined with the HSH® technology leads to a microstructure strengthening and refinement. The rail steel features highest resistance to degradation such as wear, corrugation and RCF. Learn more about 400 UHC® HSH®.


voestalpine offers a unique portfolio of additional customer services:


Our customer service team assists you in questions of:

  • In-track performance evaluation
  • Whole track system optimization
  • Wheel – Rail interface optimisation
  • RAMS & LCC consulting


Our experts from voestalpine Competence Center Welding (CCW) are constantly working jointly with renowned welding material suppliers to develop and improve rail welding technology

Beside trainings in our plant as well as on site, CCW offers also welding inspection to ensure high initial quality of rail welds


Our logistics department guarantees smooth rail delivery to its destination by optimization of the entire logistics chain. Our specialities are just-in-time deliveries to any construction site in Europe, as well as oversea deliveries.

How can we help you?

If you have questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!