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.
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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