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Comparative assessment of fatigue and fracture behaviour of cast and forged railway wheels

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A comparative evaluation of fatigue and fracture behaviour of commercially produced cast and forged rail wheels has been made using specimens extracted from various locations of the wheel quadrant. A systematic investigation in the web and rim regions of the wheel quadrant with various notch orientations showed that the forged material exhibited a better intrinsic resistance to fatigue crack growth than the cast material. Since linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) based fracture toughness could not be validated for both the cast and forged wheel material, elastic plastic fracture mechanics (EPFM) based characteristic fracture toughness was used. Results showed that fracture resistance of the forged material is superior to that of the cast material. Cast wheel specimens exhibited unstable crack extension in comparison to substantial stable tearing in forged specimens. Microstructural and fractographic analyses showed that the cast wheel material contained large amounts of inclusions. The poor fracture resistance of cast wheel material is therefore attributed to the inferior material quality.

Keywords: FCGR; cast and forged rail wheels; fracture

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur 831007, India 2: National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore 560017, India

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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