Friction between pearlitic steel surfaces
Journal article, 2019

Experiments rubbing two pearlitic rail steel surfaces against each other were done using an axial-torsion test rig. After the experiments were completed, the surfaces were observed under stereomicroscope, and the wear debris were examined. The aim of the experiments was to evaluate the variation of friction characteristics between two surfaces of pearlitic rail steel, mimicking the friction which occurs between the faces of a crack during rolling contact fatigue (RCF) loading. For both dry and wet conditions, the sliding velocity, the angles of rotation, and the average normal force were varied. It was found that the most significant effect of changing angles of rotation is on the formation of ridges on the contact surface with large angles, leading to a higher friction coefficient. The presence of water reduces the friction coefficient and leads to less deformation and wear in the contact surface.

Third-body layer

Rail-wheel tribology

Rail steel

Sliding wear

Rolling friction


Casey Jessop

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials

Chalmers Railway Mechanics (CHARMEC)

Johan Ahlström

Chalmers Railway Mechanics (CHARMEC)

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials


0043-1648 (ISSN)

Vol. 432-433 102910

Research into enhanced tracks, switches and structures (In2Track)

Swedish Transport Administration (TRV2016/50535), 2016-09-01 -- 2019-06-30.

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/730841), 2016-12-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Research into enhanced track and switch and crossing system 2 (In2Track-2)

Swedish Transport Administration, 2018-11-01 -- 2021-10-31.

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/826255), 2018-11-01 -- 2021-10-31.

Subject Categories


Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology

Other Materials Engineering



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