Preprint / Version 1

Effects of predeformation on torsional fatigue in R260 rail steel




Torsional fatigue, Axial-Torsion, Pearlitic steel, Large plastic deformation


Rolling contact loading induces severe plastic deformations and initiates cracks near the rail surface. Prevention of such rolling contact fatigue cracks requires a better understanding about the mechanical behavior of the deformed material in this region. Even so, current rail standards do not consider the plasticity-induced changes to mechanical behavior. They only evaluate the mechanical performance of virgin rail steels under uniaxial loading conditions, which is not representative for the material's performance after years of service. This study proposes a new method for fatigue life evaluation of deformed material under loading conditions similar to rolling contact loading. Both virgin and predeformed test bars with a circumferential notch were subjected to strain-controlled torsional fatigue loading to evaluate the influence of axial loading, predeformation, and torsional loading direction. Superimposed compressive axial loads increase the fatigue life without affecting the torque response. The predeformed test bars exhibited longer lives, an effect we attribute to the combination of different torque responses, hardening, and anisotropy.


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