Abstract

The wheel-rail contact is an open system contact, which is subjected to various environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, water, and even leaves. All these environmental factors influence wheel-rail wear. Classical wheel-rail wear has been extensively studied under dry and clean conditions previously. However, with changes in environmental conditions, the wear rate and wear mechanism can change. This paper reviews recent contributions to wheel-rail wear with a special focus on the influence of environmental conditions. The main part includes the basics of wheel-rail wear, experimental methodology, wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF), and some measures to counter these degradation mechanisms.

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