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Research articles

ScienceAsia 49S (2023):ID 32-42 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2023.s007


Effect of isothermal heat treatment on microstructure and wear behavior of pearlitic rail steel


Nattaya Tosangthuma, Rungtip Krataitonga, Ruangdaj Tongsria, Amporn Wiengmoonb,*

 
ABSTRACT:     The properties of pearlitic steel are controlled by pearlite characteristics, which in turn depend on transformation temperatures. This work aims to study the relationship between the microstructure, hardness, and wear behavior of pearlitic rail steel obtained via different heat treatment conditions. The samples were austenitized at temperatures in the range of 800?1000 ?C and then subjected to isothermal treatment at temperatures of 400?600 ?C. The microstructure was examined using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Sample hardness was measured using Vickers microhardness tester. Pin-on-disc testing was used to study the wear behavior of samples. The results showed that the austenite grain size increased with increasing austenitization temperatures. The heat-treated microstructures contained proeutectoid ferrite, bainitic ferrite, and pearlite. Pearlite colony size and interlamellar spacing increased with increasing isothermal temperatures. The hardness of the rail material increased when the microstructural scale was refined. In addition to the hardness, the type and morphology of phases in the sample microstructure strongly influenced the wear behavior. The important wear mechanisms included fatigue cracking, delamination, and adhesive wear.

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a MTEC, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Pathum Thani 12120 Thailand
b Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000 Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: ampornw@nu.ac.th

Received 18 Jan 2023, Accepted 31 Aug 2023