Friction and wear in railway ballast stone interfaces

Bettina Suhr*, Thomas Butcher, Roger Lewis, Klaus Six

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Particle friction in railway ballast influences strongly the behaviour of ballasted tracks. New challenges posed on railway infrastructure increase the requirement for simulations, which need the friction coefficient as an input parameter. Measured friction coefficients of ballast stone contacts were found only in two studies, both under constant loads. In this work, two types of ballast were investigated in cyclic friction tests with incremental increase of the applied load after several cycles. Before each load increase, 3D-scans of some ballast stones allowed to calculate the contact area. Estimating the stress in the contact, the stress-dependency of the friction coefficient and wear were investigated. These experimental observations are discussed regarding their impact for friction modelling in the simulation of railway ballast.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106498
JournalTribology International
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Contact area
  • Friction measurement
  • Sliding friction
  • Wear model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

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