Laser cladding for railway repair: Influence of depositing materials and heat treatment on microstructural characteristics

Quan Lai, Ralph Abrahams, Peter Mutton, Cong Qiu, Anna Paradowska, Mehdi Soodi, Taposh Roy, Wenyi Yan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The contact between train wheels and rail tracks is known to induce material degradation in the form of wear, and rolling contact fatigue in the railhead. Laser cladding, a state of the art surface engineering technique, is a promising solution to repair damaged railheads so as to alleviate the rates of degradation and extend the component longevity. In this paper, effects of cladding material and heat treatment on microstructures of laser treated rails is presented. Laser cladding of premium hypereutectoid rail, four different depositing materials, and different heat treatments were investigated. For the preheating length of 400 mm, equal to the cladding length, the formation of martensite in heat affected zone (HAZ) was not hindered by the application of preheating to 350 °C on the rail-longitudinally deposited railhead of the four materials. Consequentially, cracking in the clad and HAZ was expected. An uncracked microstructure with excellent microstructural consistency across the entire rail-longitudinally deposited railhead and its HAZ was established using a heat treatment combination consisting of pre-heating, post-heating, and slow cooling, regardless of the depositing materials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICRT 2017
Subtitle of host publicationRailway Development, Operations, and Maintenance - Proceedings of the First International Conference on Rail Transportation 2017
EditorsWanming Zhai, Kelvin C. P. Wang
Place of PublicationReston VA USA
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780784481257
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
EventInternational Conference on Rail Transportation 2017: Railway Development, Operations, and Maintenance - Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China
Duration: 10 Jul 201712 Jul 2017
Conference number: 1st


ConferenceInternational Conference on Rail Transportation 2017
Abbreviated titleICRT 2017
Internet address


  • HAZ
  • Heat treatment
  • Hypereutectoid rail grade
  • Laser cladding
  • Microstructure

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