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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 110
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 152

The Influence of Attack Angle and Rail Surface Condition on Early-Damaging

A. Trausmuth1, E. Badisch1, M. Rodriguez Ripoll1, T. Lebersorger1, D. Künstner2 and S. Scheriau2

1Austrian Center of Competence for Tribology, AC2T Research GmbH, Wiener Neustadt, Austria
2Voestalpine Schienen GmbH, Leoben, Austria

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
, "The Influence of Attack Angle and Rail Surface Condition on Early-Damaging", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 152, 2016. doi:10.4203/ccp.110.152
Keywords: railway, early-damage, head checks, laboratory scale testing, wear.

The aim of the study, presented in this paper, was the experimental modeling of a cyclic wheel-rail contact at a laboratory scale to investigate wear behaviour and crack initiation. For this purpose, a novel test rig using a transverse oscillating movement was developed to reproduce the unidirectional loading that occurs on real rail tracks. The tests were carried out at the gauge corner of rail samples in order to reach similar contact stresses as in the real system. The counterbody was a model wheel with its contour adjusted to the rail section. The influence of bending, pitch and surface pre-conditioning (as-rolled and milled) on wear and crack initiation were investigated using two different rail materials (R260 and R350HT) tested during an increasing number of loading cycles. The experimental simulation of head checks, regular cracks on the gauge corner of the rail, on the rail track samples could be achieved successfully. The results showed that the distance between the surface micro-cracks and the size of the micro-cracks decreases with increasing hardness of the rail. Micro-crack initiation and growth rate are strongly correlated with the wear rate of the rails. Furthermore, the surface condition of the rails showed a strong influence on micro-crack initiation. While milled rail surfaces without decarburization the near-surface zone showed crack initiation after a higher number of testing cycles, as-rolled rails underwent micro-crack initiation and growth at an earlier stage.

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