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Research on corrosion fatigue of railway axles

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During the in-service life of railway axles, fatigue is a major process resulting in structural degradation and failure. Recent experience with existing axles indicates that corrosion is also a key factor that must be addressed if maintenance costs are to be managed within acceptable limits and if the structural reliability of the axles is to be guaranteed. Even when the axles are operated within the design loads, failure can happen due to the synergetic effect of both corrosion and cyclic loads. This synergy is not yet thoroughly understood. In the present paper, the corrosion fatigue tests carried out on full-scale axles are described and used to validate the environmentally-assisted fracture mechanics predictive model previously developed by the authors. Moreover, the same full-scale tests allowed the investigation of the possibility of applying eddy current non-destructive inspection to the detection of corrosion pits and corrosion fatigue cracks during the service of railway axles.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2011

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