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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 104
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 186

White Etching Layer Formed on Rail Surface and its Detection Method

M. Ishida1, Y. Maruyama2 and T. Sasaki3

1Railway Engineering Department, Nippon Koei Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
2Pulstec Industrial Co., Ltd. Hamamatsu City, Japan
3Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Kanazawa University, Japan

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
M. Ishida, Y. Maruyama, T. Sasaki, "White Etching Layer Formed on Rail Surface and its Detection Method", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 186, 2014. doi:10.4203/ccp.104.186
Keywords: railway rail, RCF defects, WEL, rail grinding, X-ray diffraction.

One typical rolling contact fatigue (RCF) defect, called squats on the running band of the rail surface, posed a large problem in the 1970s in many countries. In Japan the RCF defects had already been identified and reported as one of the main problems related to track maintenance in the 1950s. At that time multiple squats caused in a longitudinal direction were already identified. Currently such multiple squats are one of most significant rail defects in Japan. The white etching layer (WEL) is focused on its impact on crack initiation of multiple squats. On the other hand, considering rail grinding is the most important track maintenance work to mitigate the RCF defect initiation and development. The possibility of grinding off the WEL can be expected to prevent the initiating of cracks from the WEL. However the WEL is not easily identified by visual inspection and appropriate methods have not been so far developed. The authors focused on X-ray diffraction to investigate the WEL formed on the surface of the rail. Through some experiments in which the WEL was clearly identified, the possibility of a monitoring system for the WEL was described.

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