High temperature bi-axial low cycle fatigue behaviour of railway wheel steel
Paper in proceedings, 2019
One of the most important aspects in railway operation is the interaction between rail and wheel. Railway wheels are commonly made from medium carbon steels (similar to 0.55 wt.% C), heat treated to a near pearlitic microstructure with some 5-10% pro-eutectoid ferrite. During the operation of freight trains, where block brakes are used, high thermal loads are evolved because of recurring braking and occasional slippage. Thus the combination of mechanical and thermal loads leads to changes in the mechanical properties of the material. The focus of the current investigation is to evaluate the mechanical behaviour of wheel material (UIC ER7T) subjected to non-proportional biaxial fatigue loading, as this simulates the actual working conditions in a better way than uniaxial loading. Axial-torsional low cycle fatigue tests were performed at room temperature and elevated temperatures using thin walled specimens to study the cyclic stress-strain properties of this material. The results showed large influence of temperature on the ratcheting behaviour of the material. Biaxial non-proportional loading gave much higher strain hardening as compared to uniaxial loading. Hardening due to dynamic strain ageing can be seen in the biaxial tests at temperatures around 300 degrees C.