Plasma torch treatments of track rails to improve locomotive wheel traction were investigated as a potential substitute for rail sanding. Rolling friction tests were conducted under simulated rail-wheel load conditions at about 200,000 psi contact stress. Although traction was improved significantly in laboratory tests, total power required to significantly improve the coefficient of friction for a diesel electric operation at low speeds appears excessive. Power required at 80 mph is prohibitive. Moreover, safety, maintenance, and mechanical aspects require a considerable amount of further development before such an application can be considered possible on American railroads.
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Plasma Treatment of Railway Rails to Improve Traction
F. E. Gifford,
F. E. Gifford
Research Laboratories, General Motors Corporation, Warren, Mich.
R. T. Yoshino
Electro-Motive Division, General Motors Corporation, La Grange, Ill.
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Gifford, F. E., and Yoshino, R. T. (August 1, 1971). "Plasma Treatment of Railway Rails to Improve Traction." ASME. J. Eng. Ind. August 1971; 93(3): 867–872. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3428029
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