Technical Reports

In-Track Demonstration of Laser-Treated Rail to Reduce Friction and Wear

  • 01
  • May
  • 2007
AUTHOR: Richard Reiff
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-07/17
KEYWORDS: Laser-glazed rail, laser-treated rail, spalling, and chipping
ABSTRACT: In-track evaluations of a laser-treated rail intended to provide a permanent reduction of the friction level and increased wear life were conducted at the Transportation Technology Center’s Facility for Accelerated Service Testing, Heavy Axle Load track in Pueblo, CO. These evaluations were conducted during the October 2005 operating period. Results suggest that the cracks formed during the laser treatment process led to early spalling and chipping of the gage corner, requiring removal of the test rail from the track. Limited data suggests that the treatment process did not significantly reduce gage face rolling friction.

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