Effect of annealing on microstructure in railway wheel steel

Dimitrios Nikas, Yubin Zhang, Johan Ahlström*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Railway wheels are commonly made from medium carbon steels (~0.55 wt.% C), heat treated to a near pearlitic microstructure with 5–10% pro-eutectoid ferrite. During the operation of freight trains, where block brakes are used, high thermal loads occur together with the high contact stresses, which combined can affect the mechanical properties of the material. In this study, the effects of annealing on local microstructure and mechanical properties in pearlitic railway wheel steel were investigated using electron microscopy and micro-hardness. It is found that after annealing at 650 °C, the room temperature hardness reduces about 25%, accompanied by significant spheroidization of cementite in the pearlitic colonies, though the size and the orientation gradients of the pearlitic colonies have not changed much. The relationship between the microstructural changes and the mechanical properties are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012059
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event42nd Risø International Symposium on Materials Science - Risø, Denmark
Duration: 5 Sept 20229 Sept 2022


Conference42nd Risø International Symposium on Materials Science
Internet address


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