Technical Reports

Evaluation of Rail Wear at the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing

  • 24
  • Mar
  • 1980
SUBJECT: Rail and Infrastructure Integrity, Best Practices
ABSTRACT: The rail metallurgy experiment at the Facility for Acceleration Service Testing (FAST) is intended to provide information on the wear and failure behavior of a variety of rail metallurgies under unit train operations. Results from two metallurgy experiments are presented; the demarcation between them occurred at 135 million gross tons* (MGT). In the first experiment, a condition of underlubrication existed up to 40-45 MGT, whereafter the state of lubrication could be described as generous. A state of generous lubrication existed throughout the entire second experiment. Rail head profile measurements taken in both the first and second experiments revealed that head hardened and chrome molybdenum rail exhibited the best resistance to high rail curve wear. In the first experiment, a strong lubrication:metallurgy interaction existed, causing the premium metallurgies to benefit less than standard rail from conditions of generous lubrication. In the underlubricated condition (first experiment) only, the 1:14 tie plate cant produced about 20% more gage face and head loss wear than did the 1:30 and 1:40 cants. Position-in-curve effects were dependent upon the level of lubrication. When generous lubrication permitted accumulation of greater tonnage on the rails, fatigue failure both in the head of the rail and in weldments became the dominant failure mode.