Full-scale testing of low adhesion effects with small amounts of water in the wheel/rail interface

L.E. Buckley-Johnstone, Gerald Trummer, P. Voltr, Klaus Six, Roger Lewis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Low adhesion in the wheel/rail contact can be caused by small amounts of water combining with iron oxides. This happens in light rain or at dew point. In small-scale tests, ultra-low adhesion (≤0.05) has not been maintained. The aim here was to see if the mechanism could be realized at a larger scale. Sustained ultra-low adhesion was achieved when water was applied constantly to the wheel/rail contact at a rate of 25μL/s. In these conditions wear debris and oxide was clearly visible in the contact band. Creep force data has been generated that can now be used to inform wheel/rail contact models and multi-body dynamics simulations of train behaviour with a view to developing mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105907
JournalTribology International
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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