Materials and Metallurgy 

SEM image of a RCF crack in a (sectioned) rail contact test disc and three images showing sideways, focussed ion beam milling of the outlined rectangular block, to determine the crack shape in 3-dimensions.Academic staff

A critical component of the vehicle-track interaction is the performance of the rail. In this research theme we consider the degradation of the rail steel in terms of microstructural deformation and rolling contact fatigue crack initiation, this information is an essential input into rail life modeling.

SEM image of a RCF crack in a (sectioned) rail contact test disc and three images showing sideways, focussed ion beam milling of the outlined rectangular block, to determine the crack shape in 3-dimensions.For maintenance schedules to be efficiently planned modeling crack formation and propagation is required, however, additionally monitoring of cracks is also necessary. Research into novel (particularly high speed) crack detection systems is a central part of this theme.

Current projects in metallurgical performance and evaluation