wheel-rail, solid friction modifier (FM), friction, wear, rolling contact fatigue (RCF) damage


In railway network, friction is an important factor to consider in terms of the service behaviors of wheel-rail system. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a solid friction modifier (FM) in a railway environment. This was achieved by studying the friction, wear, and rolling contact fatigue (RCF) damage on the wheel-rail materials at different slip ratios. The results showed that when a solid FM was applied, the friction coefficient decreased. After the solid FM was separated from the wheel-rail interface, the friction coefficient gradually increased to its original level. With the application of the solid FM, the wear rates of the wheel-rail decreased. In addition, the thickness and hardness of the plastic deformation layers of the wheel-rail materials were reduced. The worn surfaces of the wheel-rail were dominated by pits and RCF cracks. Without the FM, RCF cracks ranged from 84 to 120 µm, and subsurface cracks were generated. However, with the FM, RCF cracks ranged from 17 to 97 µm and no subsurface cracks were generated. These findings indicate possible methods of improving the performance of railway rolling stock by managing friction, and reducing wear and permanent RCF damage affecting both the wheels and rails.

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