What is a flanged wheel?

flanged wheel

What is a flanged wheel?

Railway wheels are essential to locomotives and railway vehicles, helping them move with speed and agility. These railroad wheels are typically round or semi-circular and made of highly durable materials such as steel or iron alloy. They are designed to rotate by being subjected to various pressures and forces that make the vehicle accelerate or decelerate as needed.

As transportation moved from horse-drawn carts to locomotives, flanged wheels made it more efficient and safe to travel across iron rails. The modern use of flanges is widespread, appearing on bicycles, handcarts, amusement park rides, and industrial equipment such as elevators. In this blog, we will cover all the information about flanged wheels.

What is a flanged wheel? In fact, a flanged wheel is a type of wheel with an integral projecting flange that acts as an anti-derailment device by preventing the wheel from being forced off its rail track.

This type of wheel has been developed to prevent accidents and ensure the safe running of trains and other vehicles across the terrain, which can increase operational efficiency due to improved control over the axle loads. The flanges also serve to reduce wear on the railway track bed over time.

Flanged wheels are often made out of solid materials like iron or steel, and their construction allows for efficient transport that is less prone to derailment regardless of environmental conditions such as temperature or darkness.

flanged wheel

How do flanged wheels work?

Flanged wheels provide a slightly tapered tread that allows the wheel to be installed on a fixed axle. This allows each wheel to rotate at the same rate, which is critical when going around a turn.

As part of the turning process, the wheelset shifts and uses its angling of the treads to take into account how one side of the bend is longer than the other.

The wider portion of the tread is used on the outside track, while a smaller portion of the opposite side’s wheel handles the shorter inner rail. The combination results in an overall smooth transition and keeps the train safely on its tracks.

Apart from that, the flange, which runs along its circumference, acts as a barrier preventing the wheel from leaving the rail. In essence, it works by engaging with the rail’s outer edge, forcing the wheel to stay on track at all times. This makes flanged wheels an invaluable part of locomotion engineering and enables trains to move efficiently and safely over long distances without issue.

Double Flanged Rail Wheels VS Single Flanged Rail Wheels


Single flanged rail wheels

Single flanged wheels are a type of wheel that typically have a single raised rim that makes contact with the track, while the opposite side has no flange. This wheel type is commonly used in rolling stock and other rail-based transportation systems due to its superior capacity for load-bearing performance.

Aside from being solid and stable, single flanged wheels also have the added benefit of helping to reduce noise levels on the track while providing an overall smoother ride experience.

Across all industries, they provide stability while allowing mobility and controlling the direction of travel. Single flanged wheels can also be found in commercial vehicles like forklifts and industrial machineries such as conveyor belts and lifts.

flanged wheel


Double flanged rail wheels

Double flange rail wheels are comprised of two opposing rims on either side of the wheel. This arrangement allows the wheel to be supported more firmly and evenly on top of the railway track compared to a single-flanged wheel.

The double-flanged wheel reduces vibration and resulting noise while ensuring sufficient lateral stability, an essential safety feature for passengers and employees on the railways. In fact, double flanged rail wheels are specially designed railway wheels that provide the necessary traction, and they are always used in some operating occasions that are not as controlled.

The two-flange design of these wheels allows for increased contact between the wheel and the rail, thus allowing them to handle heavier loads with more excellent stability at higher speeds. The double flanged wheels are generally easier to maintain and last longer due to their robust construction.

Single flanged rail wheel Double flanged rail wheel
Flange on only one side of its tread on both sides of the tread
Advantages  The axles are fixed Much safer
Less noise Wheels move independently
Applied occasions vehicles with fixed axles The operating conditions cannot be controlled
The operating situations are as controlled Used to ensure safe transportation services
commercial vehicles; industrial machineries

What are flanged rail wheels made of

Flanged rail wheels are typically made of steel, but can be customized with other materials like composite or aluminum depending on the manufacturer. These specialized wheels feature a prominent flange, or rim, around the circumference, which safeguards against derailment and ensures that vehicles run smoothly along railway tracks.

Due to their unique construction and variety of materials available for use, flanged rail wheels have grown increasingly popular across many transportation applications in recent years.

Actually, railway wheels can be manufactured in different ways. Typically, the standard two ways are casting and forging. Both these two ways are solid and long-lasting, but they have their own feature and are applied in different situations.

flanged wheels

For example, steel flanged wheels tend to be more expensive than their cast iron counterparts, but they offer a higher load capacity with less overall weight. They also feature higher tensile strength, improved heat resistance, and greater versatility due to the array of coatings that can be applied.

However, wheels made through casting iron are heavier, which can be an advantage when it comes to stability but also limits applications in some cases where a lighter-weight wheel is needed.

How to choose the right rail wheels?

Choosing the right rail wheels for a particular job is often tricky, as there are many factors to consider. There are several important considerations, such as load capacities, operating speeds, and environmental conditions, which must be taken into account. Load capacities are directly related to the wheel’s material, size, and shape.

Furthermore, environmental conditions, such as temperature and track surface, should always be considered. Wheels resistant to wear and tear under extreme temperatures can help ensure your trains remain on track and reliable.

Choose Taiyuan Forging for All Your Flanged Rail Wheel Needs

With an extensive selection of high-quality flanged wheels, look no further than us. Whether you need single or double, flat-faced or light duty single flanged wheels, we’ve got you covered with our range of standard sized wheels.

flanged wheel

We can also help you if the size you need is custom designed and manufactured – something we provide with experience and proficiency. Feel free to send us the draft, or we can also help you with the design work.

We’re also available for any metal fabrication, machining, or industrial powder coating services your business may require. Make sure to follow up on your inquiries with us if you have any questions.

Our ISO 9001 certification is a testament to our commitment to providing the highest service standard. So don’t wait – contact us today for more information!