2017 Quan Lai

Post Graduate Thesis Award 2017

THESIS: DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVEL WHEEL-RAIL MAINTENANCE STRATEGY UTILIZING LASER CLADDING TECHNOLOGY

2017 Post Graduate Thesis Award

Winner

Dr. Quan Lai

Doctor of Philosophy

Place of Study: Monash University

The wheel-rail contact stresses are known to cause material degradation of the rail running surface in the form of wear and rolling contact fatigue. Dealing with these problems through conventional maintenance techniques such as grinding, welding repair and rail replacement inflict significant costs upon railway operators. This thesis provides a systematic study towards a commercially viable railway maintenance technique using laser-cladding technology to reduce operational costs while alleviating the rate of material degradation, and hence, increasing the service life of rails. Focusing on high-carbon premium rail steels, the optimum processing parameters, appropriate cladding materials and heat treatment to achieve high-quality laser depositions are established through significant number of laboratory experiments and numerical simulations.