Investigating Fluid Penetration of Rolling Contact Fatigue Cracks in Rails Using a Newly Developed Full-Scale Test Facility

This paper examines fluid penetration of surface breaking rolling contact fatigue cracks in rails, believed to be a factor in cracks growing to dangerous lengths. While the authors note that laboratory twin disc contact simulations have proven fluid entry to be a significant factor in surface breaking cracks, they have not seen direct evidence showing fluid penetration of cracks in full-scale rail-wheel contacts. This research explores the widely held supposition that laboratory results regarding fluid entry will be readily translatable to full-scale cases. In their investigation, the authors remove cracked rails — showing a range of rolling contact fatigue severity — from mainline railway track. The rails are then re-installed at a newly developed test facility, where ultraviolet and visible light are used to assess the degree by which marker fluids have entered the surface breaking cracks. Results show good evidence of fluid penetration for one of the marker fluids. However, the second fluid shows no evidence of its presence inside the cracks. The authors discuss in detail the possible reasons behind this behavioral difference.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Fletcher, D I
    • Hyde, P
    • Kapoor, A
  • Publication Date: 2007-3


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01051761
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 3 2007 8:48PM