• Author Spotlight - Investigating the Performance of Rail Steels

    Posted by Huddersfield Press on 2021-05-18


Daniel Woodhead from the School of Computing and Engineering is one of the students whose work is published in the 7th edition of FIELDS, our students research journal. We asked Daniel about his research and his article:


This study focusses on aiding the understanding of how various material properties effect the different damage mechanisms of rail steels. This will support the future development of rolling contact fatigue (RCF) prediction models and in the identification of rail damage mechanisms. Doing this should help to optimise costing and planned maintenance of railway networks due to a greater understanding of the life expectancy of rails. In this study the material properties of several rail steel samples were compared to wear and RCF data, available in literature. Statements that hardness is a good indicator of ultimate tensile strength were supported, and observations were made that steel samples from the head and foot of rails have quite different yield strengths (max 24% difference). The main finding of this study was data supporting claims that a ratio of the product of young’s modulus squared and percentage elongation to hardness cubed ((E2*Pe)/H3) had a much better correlation (R2=0.98) to wear data than just hardness (R2=0.89). As well as this new ideas for characterizing Mark Burstow’s whole life rail model have been presented in this study.




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