WHAT CAUSES WHEEL TREAD DEFECTS? PART 2: THERMAL CRACKING

United States Steel undertook an investigation of wheel-tread defects. Shelling was shown to be the result of repeated stress application to the rolling wheel, which apparently caused the tread metal to fail in shear. Cracks propagate from below to the tread surface. When two of these cracks of opposed orientation meet beneath the tread, metal between them is loosened and finally expelled. This is the typical shelling type of failure. While shelling apparently is not caused by braking, there are wheel defects which can be caused by stresses that develop in the wheel rim as a result of thermal gradients generated by friction between the tread and brake shoe during braking. Shelling and thermal cracking of railroad wheels shorten wheel life, and checking brought on by severe braking may occasionally result in a complete wheel failure.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation

    P.O. Box 350
    Bristol, CT  USA  06010
  • Authors:
    • Wandrisco, J M
    • Dewez Jr, F J
  • Publication Date: 1960-8

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00040812
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 8 1994 12:00AM