Recently rail steel with bainite microstructure was developed that had higher hardness compared to conventional pearlite microstructure steels and was expected to exhibit improved wear performance. However, it showed worse wear performance than pearlitic steel, and it was shown that conventional pearlitic steel work-hardened significantly more than bainitic steel under severe stress conditions. As the effects from the wheel/rail contact are confined to the topmost contact surface and sub-surface, convenient micro and nanowear experiments may also be used to predict the wear performance of rail steels. Such experiments were performed on rail samples and subsequently, a finite element model was developed to simulate repeated sliding contact/wear.

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