Mechanism Analysis of Spalling Defect on Rail Surface under Rolling Contact Conditions
Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Under the wheel/rail contact loading conditions, the microcracks on the rail surface propagate, leading to spalling defect or rail fracture and threatening the travelling safety of high-speed railway directly. In order to analyze the mechanism of the crack propagation on the rail surface, the calculation model of the wheel/rail contact fatigue was established, and the variation of the stress intensity factor at the crack tip when the crack length was increased from 0.1 mm to 2 mm was obtained.
... 2 mm was obtained. Based on the mixed-mode fracture criterion and Paris growth theory, the mechanism of the crack propagation on the rail surface was analyzed. The results show that when the microcrack grows to macrocrack, the mode of the fatigue crack on the rail surface is mixed including sliding mode and open mode. With the increase of the crack length, the stress intensity factor KI increases first and then decreases gradually, and the relative dangerous location of the open-mode crack moves from the inner edge of the contact area to the outer edge, while the factor KII is increasing during the whole propagation process, and the relative dangerous location of the sliding-mode crack remains unchanged basically. The main failure mode of crack is open during the initial stage and then transforms into sliding mode with the crack length increasing. The crack tends to propagate upward and leads to spalling defect when the crack length is between 0.3 and 0.5 mm. This propagation path is basically identical with the spalling path of the service rail. The research results will provide a basis for improving the antifatigue performance of rail and establishing the grinding procedure.