The Influence of Heat Treatment on Wheel and RailWear

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Addis Ababa University


Wheel and rail is one of the most important material used to support and guide rail vehicle safely and smoothly. Since wheel and rail suffers from various interacting mechanical and thermal forces, friction modifiers, various contaminants and environmental atmosphere, wear poses large problem on wheel and rail. Wheel and rail wear can be result in an extensive cost for truck owner, if it is not predicated and prevented in an efficient way. To limit these costs, one measure is to predicate and prevent wheel and rail wear through wear modeling. The purpose of this research is to investigate the influence of heat treating both wheel and rail at the same time on rolling/sliding wear of wheel and rail. The rolling/sliding wear of three pair of rollers used to model wheel and rail material is studied using twin disc rolling/sliding wear testing machine. The three pair of rollers used in this study is manufactured from carbon steel having similar hardness and chemical composition as that of standard wheel and rail. Then the two pair of rollers is heat treated in an electric furnace to improve their hardness. Heat treatment was done by heating the rollers to austenite temperature, holding at that temperature for 45minutes for uniform temperature distribution. Water or air plus oil are used as cooling median. Hardness of the rollers is measured using Rockwell hardness C scale of indentation hardness testing machine. Spectrometry analysis is also carried on the rollers to know the chemical composition of rollers. Roughness of rollers is measured by using surface roughness testing machine. Results from hardness test showed that the hardness of the roller can be increased by heat treatment. Result of spectrometry analysis shows that the chemical composition of the roller agrees with the chemical composition of wheel and rail. Twin disc wear test of the roller shows that rolling/sliding wear of wheel/rail can be improved by increasing the hardness of wheel and rail by heat treatment.



rolling/sliding, twin disc, spectrometer