Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Austempered Ductile Iron Performance at Rail Wheel Operating Conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
Karl C. Warsinski, Pasi T. Lautala, Paul G. Sanders

Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

Paper No. JRC2014-3781, pp. V001T02A007; 4 pages
  • 2014 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2014 Joint Rail Conference
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, April 2–4, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4535-6
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


As transportation costs rise, rail stock material improvements are critical to improving efficiency, durability, and performance. Steel wheels have been a consistent part of rail equipment, but it may be time to assess potential other alloys and materials in anticipation of future demands. Strength requirements are steadily increasing with rail car capacity, while weight savings in equipment can reduce fuel costs and/or increase carrying capacity. Herein, the current requirements for railroad wheels are discussed and compared with experimental evaluation of a potential alternative material, austempered ductile iron (ADI).

ADI is an attractive wheel material because of its higher strength-to-weight ratio (as compared to steel) and its wear resistance. ADI castings are also typically cheaper to produce than steel. While ADI can meet or exceed the strength of steel components, it is also comparable in ductility and impact strength, so conversion to ADI does not bring additional risk of brittle fracture, as is commonly the case when achieving higher strengths.

There are challenges with its implementation, however. AAR certification of new materials is costly and time consuming, so adoption is unlikely until there is a very compelling business case. Heat produced during on-tread braking has the potential to damage the heat-treated structure of ADI. The regular exchange of cars across different sections of track and therefore different managing companies requires that new wheel materials be fully backwards compatible, so alterations in design are severely limited. This paper will take initial steps toward assessing the potential of ADI railroad wheels by investigating the performance of ADI at elevated temperatures, and comparing the results to measured and simulated wheel temperatures.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In