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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 98
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 87

Fatigue Crack Growth in Railway Steel

D.F.C. Peixoto, P.M.S.T. de Castro and L.A.A. Ferreira

Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
D.F.C. Peixoto, P.M.S.T. de Castro, L.A.A. Ferreira, "Fatigue Crack Growth in Railway Steel", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the First International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 87, 2012. doi:10.4203/ccp.98.87
Keywords: fatigue, crack growth, steel, railway.

The work presented in this paper is part of a project where the objective is to develop a methodology to anticipate the need for repair or replacement of wheels or rails, and in particular to establish time limits for the intervention for wheels or rails where one or more defects are detected.

Fatigue tests, including fatigue crack growth rate measurements, were performed in order to characterize the fatigue crack propagation behaviour, because this is essential for the objectives mentioned above. Fatigue crack growth rate measurements were made according to the ASTM E647-08 standard [1] in order to characterize wheel and rail steel resistance to stable crack propagation for cyclic loading.

C(T) specimens taken from a Spanish AVE train wheel and a UIC60 rail were tested with 0.1 and 0.4 load ratios. The seven point incremental polynomial method was used to calculate the fatigue crack growth rates from the experimental results and the Paris law [2] constants were determined. A comparison with results presented in the literature, in other studies of rail and wheel fatigue crack propagation behaviour, [3,4,5], was made and a good agreement was found.

Analysing the results obtained, no substantial effect of load-ratios was found in the Paris law regime of fatigue crack propagation and it was concluded that the rail material has higher fatigue crack growth rates than the wheel material. Ritchie discusses load ratio effects in [6], concluding that in the Paris law regime little influence on the load ratio in the crack propagation behaviour is expected, and this was confirmed in the present work, albeit on different steels.

Standard ASTM E647-08, "Standard Test Method for Measurement of Fatigue Crack Growth Rates".
P. Paris, M. Gomez, W. Anderson, "A rational analytic theory of fatigue", The Trend in Engineering, University of Washington, 13(1), 9-14, 1961.
S. Sivaprasad, S. Tarafder, V.R. Ranganath, N. Parida, "Fatigue and fracture behaviour of forged and cast railway wheels", National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur 831007, India.
R. Hamam, S. Pommier, F. Bumbieler, "Variable amplitude fatigue crack growth, experimental results and modelling", International Journal of Fatigue, 29, 1634-1646, 2007. doi:10.1016/j.ijfatigue.2007.02.005
J. Kim, C. Kim, "Fatigue crack growth behaviour of rail steel under mode I and mixed mode loadings", Materials Science and Engineering, A338, 191-201, 2002. doi:10.1016/S0921-5093(02)00052-7
R. Ritchie, "Near-threshold fatigue crack propagation in ultra-high strength steel: Influence of load ratio and cyclic strength"Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology, 99(3), 195-204, 1977. doi:10.1115/1.3443519

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