Rolling-sliding laboratory tests of friction modifiers in dry and wet wheel-rail contacts

O. Arias-Cuevas, Z. Li, R. Lewis, E. A. Gallardo-Hernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations


Friction management has been carried out extensively in the majority of railway networks in the last few years. A popular practice is the application of friction modifiers to increase the adhesion level in contaminated wheel-rail contacts. Two friction modifiers have particularly been used or tested on several railway networks as adhesion enhancers to facilitate the traction and braking operation under poor adhesion conditions. However, for assessment of the performance the railway operators and infrastructure managers mostly rely on practical observations that do not elucidate completely the effectiveness and side effects of these adhesion enhancers. In this paper, the constituents of the two friction modifiers are identified and the solid components are analyzed. A twin-disk roller rig has been used to study their performance in dry and wet contacts under closely controlled laboratory conditions. The adhesion characteristics of both friction modifiers are examined for different slip ratios. Furthermore, the wheel and rail disks are examined after a series of dry tests to analyze the mass loss, the surface damage, the change in surface hardness and roughness, and the subsurface deformation caused by the friction modifiers compared to dry clean contacts. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)543-551
Number of pages487
StatePublished - 4 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


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