Staff from NewRail in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering were awarded a prize in May 2005 by the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The TA Steward-Dyer /FH Trevithick Prize was awarded in recognition of research by Mr Paul Hyde, Dr David Fletcher and Professor Ajay Kapoor into the processes by which railway rails crack under repeated wheel load, technically described as Rolling Contact Fatigue. The prize was presented by the Railway Division Chairman Cliff Perry at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers headquarters in London.
Rolling contact fatigue crack growth can lead to broken rails or premature rail replacement, with high costs to the rail network. Greater understanding of the process aims to deliver improved maintenance strategies to maximise rail life and to develop new materials which do not suffer from the problem. The work titled "Growth of multiple rolling contact fatigue cracks driven by rail bending modelled using a boundary element technique" was published in the Insitution of Mechanical Engineers Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit Volume 218. Copies of the paper and more information about related rail-wheel contact research are available from the authors.
published on: 20th May 2005