2021 Heavy Haul Session
The relevance of a defect-free rail condition after rail maintenance in heavy haul tracks: A numerical and experimental study
Higher dynamic axle loads, volume of traffic and train speed lead to continuously increasing contact mechanical load of rails in track. Consequently, the requirements on rail materials to resist wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF) increase too. Typical RCF defects like “squats”, “head checks”, “spalling” and “shelling” as well as other defects like “wheel burns” or ”corrugation” can impact driving comfort and safety and will reduce rail life. To keep rails in a functional and safe condition and to prevent premature rail failure, a defect-free rail condition has to be ensured after rail maintenance, especially in high loaded heavy haul tracks.
This presentation is focused on the maintenance process rail milling and its possibility to remove several millimeter-deep defects in only one pass to ensure a defect-free, perfect re-profiled and in the metallographic point of view “better than new” material condition of the rails in track. A numerical and experimental study will be presented to show the impact and the growth behavior of residual cracks in a bad maintained rail in track by using the wrong maintenance technology and strategy.