Physical Nature of Structure and Properties Degradation of Rail Surface after Long Term Operation
By methods of optical, scanning and transmission electron diffraction microscopy and microhardness and tribology parameters measurement the changes regularities of structure-phase states, defect substructure of rails surface after the long term operation (passed tonnage of gross weight 500 and 1000 mln. tons) were established. It is shown that the wear rate increases in 3 and 3.4 times after passed tonnage of gross weight 500 and 1000 mln. tons, accordingly, and the friction coefficient decreases in 1.4 and 1.1 times. The cementite plates are destroying absolutely and cementite particles of around form with the sizes 10-50 nm are forming after passed tonnage 500 mln tons. The appearance of dynamical recrystallization initial stages is marked after the passed tonnage 1000 mln tons. It is shown that the operation of steel rails is accompanied by full fractures in surface layers with lamellar pearlite grains and the formation of ferrite–carbide mixtures with nanosized particles. The deformation of steel increases the densities of scalar and excess dislocations, the curvature–torsion values of the crystal lattice, and the amplitudes of internal stress fields. The possible mechanisms of established regularities are discussed. It is noted that two competitive processes can take place during rails long term operation: 1. Process of cutting of cementite particles followed by their carrying out into the volume of ferrite grains or plates (in the structure of pearlite). 2. Process of cutting, the subsequent dissolution of cementite particles, transition of carbon atoms to dislocations (into Cottrell atmospheres), transition of carbon atoms by dislocations into volume of ferrite grains or plates followed by repeat formation of nanosize cementite particles.
Mikhail D. Starostenkov, Aleksandr I. Potekaev, Sergey V. Dmitriev and Prof. P. Ya. Tabakov
V. E. Gromov et al., "Physical Nature of Structure and Properties Degradation of Rail Surface after Long Term Operation", Journal of Metastable and Nanocrystalline Materials, Vol. 30, pp. 39-45, 2018