Product Code: ICA11_501

Laser Cladding for Railway Repair and Preventative Maintenance
Adam Clare, University of Nottingham; Nottingham Great Britain
Olusola Oyelola, University of Nottingham; Nottingham Great Britain
Janet Folkes, University of Nottingham; Nottingham Great Britain
Peter Farayibi, University of Nottingham; Nottingham Great Britain
Presented at ICALEO 2011

Rolling contact fatigue (RCF), amongst other mechanisms of wear, between railway track and train wheel ensures that periodic replacements of worn track and other key components such as switches must be undertaken. The cost associated with repairing/replacing track is significant. This places a financial burden upon the rail network provider, creates a significant carbon footprint associated with re-manufacture of track and also interruption to train services on the line.

It is proposed that laser cladding, when deployed strategically can reduce the costs associated with replacing worn track by enhancing the longevity of new rail components (pre-service) and also for the repair of sections of track which are prone to excessive wear (in-service). This will lead to a cheaper, more reliable and sustainable rail network.

This paper details a series of investigations undertaken to laser deposit premium, wear resistant alloys (Colmonoy 88, Stellite 6, maraging steel and Hadfield steel) to much cheaper rail material substrates. The methodology for process optimisation is presented and the resulting rail components are characterised for suitability. Laser cladding is demonstrated to be a viable solution to repair worn track and a deposition and grinding process for actual track sections is presented.

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