Crack initiation caused by repeated local heating events – Modelling of possible mechanisms
Paper in proceedings, 2015

Thermally initiated damage mechanisms by short-term local surface heating of a rail or wheel have been examined. A Finite Element (FE) model incorporating phase transformation from near pearlitic steel to austenite, and then to martensite was built to examine developing strength and residual stress fields. The FE model also incorporates thermal contraction on tempering of the martensite by following heat pulses. The material is modeled as isotropic, but with properties varying with phase, temperature and tempering state. Different thermal sequences that could cause crack initiation are examined.



residual stress

phase transformation

RCF crack cluster


fatigue crack initiation

thermal damage

Finite element model


Johan Ahlström

Chalmers, Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Materials Technology

Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Contact Mechanics and Wear of Rail/Wheel Systems (CM2015).

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