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The Wear of Bainitic and Pearlitic Steels

By John Ernest Garnham


The rolling-sliding dry-wear behaviour of a series of bainitic steels and a standard pearlitic rail steel have been compared over a range of contact stress and creepage conditions applicable to the British Rail network. A rolling-sliding wear machine has been constructed - LEROS - which allows very high contact stresses to be combined with high creepages under well controlled conditions. Materials were tested on LEROS and on an Amsler machine. Limited vibration analyses were carried out on both machines and compared with the frequencies of disc surface periodic undulations. No direct linkage was determined.\ud Despite better standard mechanical properties, the wear resistance of lower carbon bainitic steels was inferior to that of the pearlitic steel. A bainitic steel with the same carbon content as the pearlitic steel wore a little less, but at considerable expense to the pearlitic wheel steel counter-material in the wear couple. The wear resistance of bainitic steels depends upon the volume fraction of hard phase, such as carbide and martensite-austenite phase, for rolling-sliding as well as other types of dry wear loading. Pearlitic steel performs exceptionally well under certain rolling-sliding conditions, such as the majority seen in these tests, since the lamellar microstructure is modified so as to present a greater area fraction of carbide hard phase at the wear surface, a fraction in excess of bulk volume fraction. Recommendations are made for the dry wear applicability of the steels

Topics: Rail, Steel, Microstructure, Pearlite, Bainite, Rolling-Sliding Wear, Test-equipment, Vibration
Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 1995
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