A railroad spike, which is equipped with an offset head, is a large rail nail used to secure and fasten the rails in the railway system. With the development of industrialization, the rail spike was invented by Robert Livingston Stevens and the first use was in 1832. The main function of railroad spike is to ensure the correct position of the gauge. And the common sizes are usually between 9-10/16 inch and 5.5-6 inch long. With a flat edged point and chisel-shaped, the spike can give greater resistance to loosening. During the transportation of railway, it is not necessary to require the spike to provide a strong vertical force, which provide a nice environment than can allow the rail track freedom of movement.
Among the railroad spikes, dog spike and screw spike are the two common railroad spike in the market.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Screw Spike
At before, the screw spikes are usually used to fasten the ribbed base plates and sole plates to wood sleepers. With the construction and development of the concrete sleepers, the screw spikes play an important role in railway fastening systems with the help of a plastic dowel. In order to meet the different use and standards of railway tracks, the screw spikes can be classified into so many types. Through the different specific geographic requirements such as lengths, diameters, drive heads and thread profiles, the railway screw spikes can be classified into four types: Ss series sleeper screw, square head screw spike, hexagon screw spike and double-head screw spike.
Step 2: Dog Spikes
Dog spike is another important component of railroad spikes. Because of the two lugs on either side, the dog spike looks just like the dog’s head. Just like the screw spikes, the dog spikes have the similar dimensions. But as to the head, it has a pointed penetrating head.
Step 3: Comparison of Dog Spikes and Screw Spikes
The screw spikes are the railroad spikes with the screw thread on the surface. But as to the dog spikes, it has a pointed penetrating head with a smooth suface.
As to the holding power, the screw spikes can provide more than twice of the power than the dog spikes.
Because of the greater fixing power and the feature that can be combined with spring washers, the cost of manufacture of the screw spike is higher than the dog spikes or dog nails.
In a word, the railroad spikes are all used to ensure the safety of the railway fastening system and railway transportation. So if the railroad spikes are used in the right place, it will have a striking effect, no matter what type it is.