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Study of the thermo-mechanical damage in steels for shoe-braked railway wheels using innovative small-scale tests

Summary - The behavior of three railway wheel steels (HYPERLOS®, ER-TEN, and SUPERLOS®) coupled with two brake block materials (cast iron and organic composite) and R260 rail steel was studied by means of an innovative small-scale test bench, hereafter called 4-contact machine. This bench simulated the thermal and mechanical damage experienced by real railway wheels during braking. Comparative tests were conducted to assess rolling contact fatigue and wear damage for each material combination. The results aligned with actual operational damage, revealing differences in material performance. Cast iron block samples exhibited higher wear and generated a carryover material layer on the wheel samples, while the composite brake block samples wore less. Although the tested wheel steels showed similar behaviour, the extent of observed damage varied, with some materials experiencing more damage than others.


  • Agosto
Num. 8
Pag. 647