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Physical Simulation as a Tool to Evaluate the complex Microstructure of Microalloyed Railroad Wheels

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DOI: 10.23977/jmpd.2020.040103 | Downloads: 37 | Views: 2421


Solange Tamara da Fonseca 1, Andrei Bavaresco Rezende 1, Clelia Ribeiro de Oliveira 1, Domingos Jose Minucucci 2, Paulo Roberto Mei 1


1 University of Campinas, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Campinas, 13083-860, Brazil
2 DJ Consulting, Botucatu, SP, Brasil

Corresponding Author

Solange Tamara da Fonseca


Pearlitic microstructures are commonly used in the manufacture of wheels, due to high wear resistance, combined with good ductility and fracture toughness. However, recent studies with bainitic microstructures reveal better performance in wear and rolling contact fatigue. In 2013, AAR (Association of American Rairoads) introduced a new class of microalloyed steel called Class D as acceptable for heavy haul load transport. The new Class D steel must have the same chemical composition as Class C steel with the small addition of alloying elements to provide the required hardness and mechanical properties. The addition of microalloying elements to the manufacturing process can provide different microstructures in the railroad wheels.  To identify the microstructures existing in microalloyed steel and compare them with wheel microstructures, physical simulations were conducted using Gleeble equipment. Microstructural characterizations, x-ray diffraction (XRD) and hardness were evaluated in order to isolate the present phases. The hardness map shows the range hardness of each microstructure and it is possible to correlate these with wheel hardness. The pearlitic, ferritic and martensitic microstructures were easily identified by microscopy. The bainitic microstructure was identified by hardness values and microscopy. The austenitic microstructure was identified by XRD.  Physical simulation is effective to produce microstructures at different rates and temperatures in a controlled form which is possible to be investigated.


Microalloyed railway wheel, niobium, heavy haul


Solange Tamara da Fonseca, Andrei Bavaresco Rezende, Clelia Ribeiro de Oliveira, Domingos Jose Minucucci, Paulo Roberto Mei, Physical Simulation as a Tool to Evaluate the complex Microstructure of Microalloyed Railroad Wheels. Journal of Materials, Processing and Design (2020) 4: 20-35. DOI:


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