The wear behaviour of two railway wheel steels, ER8 and SUPERLOS®, was studied through pin-on-disc tests, and the results were correlated with those previously obtained with twin-disc tests. The work-hardening of the steels was investigated with Vickers hardness measurements, and the wear mechanisms were studied using scanning electron microscopy. ER8 discs showed higher wear resistance, lower work-hardening ability and less wear damage than SUPERLOS® ones, confirming the results of the twin-disc tests. Therefore, sliding pin-on-disc experiments are recommended as a simple laboratory technique that can be used as a screening method for wheel steel performance prior to more complex and more expensive tests. The damage in both steels was due to the concomitance of oxidative wear, abrasive wear and fatigue wear. Iron oxide formation protects the steels from severe wear, whereas its detachment causes abrasive wear; furthermore, surface fatigue cracks initiate and propagate leading to the detachment of material flakes.
Tribology Letters – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 14, 2017
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