Rail grinding and its impact on the wear of wheels and rails
Abstract (Summary)Rail grinding has been employed since the 1980s in maintaining optimal rail profile as well as in the elimination of surface defects such as corrugations and head-checks. Likewise, the wheel sets also require re- turning to remove surface defects and restore the desired profile. The influence of surface roughness in the wheel/rail contact has been a concern for railway owners since the introduction of rail grinding as a maintenance strategy. Presently, there are no scientifically derived guidelines regarding the surface topographies of ground rails and re-turned wheels. There is thus a need to establish well defined guidelines regarding the surface topographies for new surfaces on the rails and wheels in order to minimize grinding cost/time and improve wheel/rail performance. This thesis concerns the influence of surface roughness of wheel/rail surfaces on running-in behaviour, wear, friction and resultant surface damage. The results presented in this thesis are based on both field measurements and experimental simulations in the laboratory. A two-disc rolling/sliding test machine has been used in the experimental work to simulate the wheel/rail contact. The test specimens were manufactured from actual wheel/rail parts. The maching/finishing parameters were chosen in such a way as to obtain different surface roughness on the test specimens. A Design of Experiment approach (DOE) has been used to conduct experiments and to analyse the results. Results obtained from the field measurements show that the surface roughness of a newly ground rail changes rapidly during the initial stages following grinding. It was also concluded that there is a considerable variation of the surface roughness of re-turned wheels depending on which workshop performed the turning operation. Experimental results show that the surface roughness of the test specimens in certain material pairs do influence wear, friction and resultant surface damage. There is also a significant difference in the tribological behaviour of tests run in dry conditions and those run with water lubrication.
School:Luleå tekniska universitet
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2007