The Cause of White Etching Material Outlining Shell-Type Cracks in Rail-Heads

[+] Author and Article Information
R. J. Henry

Alloy Development Section, Homer Research Laboratories, Bethlehem Steel Corp., Bethlehem, Pa.

J. Basic Eng 91(3), 549-551 (Sep 01, 1969) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3571179 History: Received December 12, 1968; Online November 03, 2011


The cause of the white-etching regions outlining certain subsurface cracks in rail-heads was investigated. These cracks known as shells may propagate into “shelly spots,” i.e., deep spalls, usually in the gage corner in rail-heads. Samples containing these regions were metallographically compared to samples with scribed scratches. The white etching regions were found to be stress-induced microstructural changes resulting from the rolling contact fatigue in rail heads.

Copyright © 1969 by ASME
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