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Fundamental Evaluation of Thermal Crack Resistance for Wheel Fracture Prevention

[+] Author Affiliations
Haruo Sakamoto

Kochi University of Technology, Kochi, Japan

Paper No. IMECE2002-39604, pp. 819-824; 6 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Design Engineering
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3628-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


This paper presents a method for the thermal crack evaluation of railroad wheel materials and the results. The research investigated the basic thermal crack resistance as a low cycle fatigue behavior in terms of Δεt -Ni and da/dN-ΔK. In order to be able to evaluate such material characteristics in service by experimentation, reproducible conditions such as similar stress-strain, temperature rise, and damage morphology are required. The methods proposed in the past for high temperature low cycle fatigue or thermal shock such as Coffin’s and Manson’s methods do not provide the above conditions at the same time for thermal cracks in railroad wheels. The material design to avoid such thermal damages has not yet been established. Therefore, a simple brake tester with a special device for measuring radial deflection converted into strain was designed and manufactured. The relations of Δεt -Ni and da/dN-ΔK, which have not been clarified for thermal crack behavior in railroad wheels, were obtained for wheel materials by experiment using this new device. To predict the life of a wheel, one must know the real service conditions from field measurements. Once the histogram of the initial brake speed, intensity of brake application, and number of brakings from the initial speed is obtained, the histogram can be converted into the relation of strain range and number of cycles. The calculation of cycles for crack origination and propagation is possible based on the experimental results on Δεt -Ni and da/dN-ΔK. From the material data of fracture toughness and possible residual stress value in the field, the critical crack length for wheel fracture can be then estimated, and the life from the cycles to the critical length is estimated. This method will provide the appropriate maintenance schedule to prevent wheel fracture.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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