Watch note - Contact fatigue of rails

Surface deformation and cracks on a rail

Créé le : 31/08/2018

This watch note presents ten recent publications that cover rolling contact fatigue in the railway field. These publications touch on three main points: evaluation of residual stresses, behaviour analysis and damage mechanisms.

The results show that crack growth is an inevitable phenomenon but that under certain conditions, it can be more or less controlled or predicted. Experimental studies, the development of a test bench and modelling of materials all contribute to expand our knowledge on cracking phenomena caused by contact fatigue.

The works presented here mainly apply to the choice of rail materials and their processing (decarburising), the application of surface friction modifiers and the effects of grinding. For example, we observe that periodic grinding, commonly used in rail maintenance operations, is only effective for small cracks.