Surface cracks and wear of rail: a full-scale test on a commuter train track
2002 (English)In: Proceedings of the Institution of mechanical engineers. Part F, journal of rail and rapid transit, ISSN 0954-4097, Vol. 216, no 4, 249-264 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Damage mechanisms such as surface cracks and wear on a rail can reduce the service life of a railway track. The purpose of this investigation was to study the development of these two damage mechanisms on new and 3-year-old rails in a commuter railway track over a period of 2 years. Four curves were studied with radius between 303 and 616 m. In two of the curves, two different kinds of rail steel grade (UIC 900A grade with ultimate strength 900 N/mm2 and UIC 1100 grade with ultimate strength 1100 N/mm2) were used in each curve. In the other two curves, only the lower-strength rail was used. Four pieces of new rail, each 20 m long, were inserted in the two curves with both UIC 900A and UIC 1100 grade rail. Lubrication was applied on the high rail of one of the curves with both UIC 900A and UIC 1100 grade rail and on one of the curves with only UIC 900A grade rail. The two remaining curves were not lubricated. Surface cracks in the form of headchecks could be noted on the surface of the new 1100 grade rails after 1 month of traffic. By contrast, the surface of the UIC 900A grade rails showed visible surface cracks in only two of four curves and that after approximately 2 years of traffic. Both materials seemed to be similarly sensitive to crack initiation but the 1100 grade rail was more sensitive to crack propagation and also more sensitive to the formation of headcheck cracks. Lubrication, as expected, reduced the profile change. A less expected outcome was that lubrication also reduced the rate of crack propagation; however, the lubricated UIC 1100 grade rail was as sensitive to crack initiation as the unlubricated UIC 1100 grade rail. By comparing the wear depth in the headcheck zone with the crack length, equilibrium between these two damage mechanisms was found for the lubricated UIC 1100 grade rail. Both the crack length and the wear depth showed low values. By using a lubricant with friction modifiers the stresses was low enough to prevent crack propagation; at the same time, the rail was hard enough to reduce the wear rate. This is probably the most favourable state in terms of rail maintenance cost.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 216, no 4, 249-264 p.
Lubrication, Rail, Surface cracks, Wear
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4915DOI: 10.1243/095440902321029208ISI: 000180190500003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4915DiVA: diva2:7014
QC 201009302005-02-092005-02-092010-09-30Bibliographically approved