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Research Papers: Friction & Wear

Comparative Study on Dry Sliding Wear Behavior of Various Railroad Steels

[+] Author and Article Information
S. M. Shariff1

Center for Laser Processing of Materials, International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), 500005, Hyderabad, Indiaknl.sms@gmail.com

T. K. Pal

Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Jadavpur University, 700032, Kolkata, India

G. Padmanabham, S. V. Joshi

Center for Laser Processing of Materials, International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), 500005, Hyderabad, India

1

Corresponding author.

J. Tribol 133(2), 021602 (Mar 17, 2011) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003485 History: Received May 06, 2010; Revised December 18, 2010; Published March 17, 2011; Online March 17, 2011

Understanding the wear behavior of various railroad steels used in different components such as rails, wheels, crossings, and curves has a direct impact on the performance of the rail-wheel system in railroad technology. In the present investigation, the wear behavior of steels having varying microstructures (pearlite, ferrite-pearlite, austenite, and bainite) and different chemical compositions has been studied, utilizing a ball-on-disk sliding tribometer under prototypic load and dry conditions. Results indicate that the wear performance of the steel and the mechanism responsible for its wear are significantly governed by the microstructure as well as changes that occur in the contact region during sliding. The formation of tribo-particles comprising oxides of Fe and their possible smearing resulted in high wear resistance in pearlitic steels with considerable plastic deformation of ferrite lamellae compared with austenitic and bainitic steels. In the case of bainitic steel, the absence of any significant smearing of oxide debris, combined with the presence of some distributed tungsten from the ball, contributed to severe wear. On the other hand, in the case of austenitic steel, third-body abrasion by debris particles, comprising a mix of hard metallic and oxide particles, contributed to severe wear despite its high work-hardening ability. On the whole, the pearlitic steel exhibited superior wear resistance with a lower friction coefficient compared with the bainitic and austenitic steels.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Optical microstructures of steels used in this study: (a) PRS, (b) HCPRS, (c) WS, (d) BRS, and (e) AMRS

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Figure 2

SEM micrographs at 2000X of steels used in this study: (a) PRS, (b) HCPRS, (c) WS, (d) BRS, and (e) AMRS

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Figure 3

XRD patterns of steels used in this study

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Figure 4

Hardness distribution in steels (average hardness represented separately) used in this study

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Figure 5

Profilometer profiles across wear tracks of various steels obtained after the completion of wear tests

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Figure 6

Hardness variation with depth from worn surface of various steels used in this study

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Figure 7

Work-hardening rate (W) and wear rate (K) of various steels used in this study

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Figure 8

XRD analysis of worn surfaces after the completion of wear testing

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Figure 9

Worn surface morphologies of wear tracks with EDS analysis at different regions of PRS, HCPRS, and WS steels

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Figure 10

Worn surface morphologies of wear tracks with EDS analysis at different regions of BRS and AMRS steels

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Figure 11

Variation in coefficient of friction with time in steels during wear testing

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Figure 12

SEM micrographs showing subsurface deformation microstructure across the depth of worn surface layers of steels after wear testing (arrow at the top left of the micrograph indicates direction of sliding): (a) PRS, (b) HCPRS, (c) WS, (d) BRS, and (e) AMRS

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