A review on wear between railway wheels and rails under environmental conditions

Yi Zhu, Wenjian Wang, Roger Lewis, Wenyi Yan, Stephen R. Lewis, Haohao Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120801
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Tribology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Contact mechanics
  • Environmental conditions
  • Open system contact
  • Rolling contact fatigue
  • Rolling fatigue
  • Stick-slip
  • Third bodies
  • Wear
  • Wheel-rail wear

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