Wheel-Rail Tribology: Experimental Investigations regarding the Influence of Microstructural Properties on the Tribological Behaviour of Wheel-Rail Materials

In the interface between wheels and rails severe plastic deformations occur in the near-surface layers of wheels and rails due to extreme loading conditions. This leads to wear and rolling contact fatigue issues as well as thermal induced damage. The ongoing physical processes in this complex tribological system are still not fully understood and will be experimentally investigated in this PhD thesis.

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Tender Information

For different wheel and rail materials – including laser cladded surfaces – tribological tests have to be carried out:

  • Generation of severe plastically deformed material samples
  • Fatigue Crack Growth experiments
  • Twin Disc experiments
  • Full Scale experiments
  • Surface analysis (roughness measurements)
  • Metallographic investigations (micro- and macro-crack analysis)
  • Sub-surface analysis (SEM, EBDS, hardness profiles, grain size, etc.)
  • Microstructural properties
  • Wear analysis
  • Wear debris analysis
  • Documentation of testing and analysis results

In the proposal for PhD funding, scientific institutions describe:

  • The scientific ability and (if necessary) the required infrastructure to scientifically guide and supervise the PhD candidate
  • The research plan and the focus for the advertised thesis
  • The publication and dissemination plan
  • The teaching plan (courses, trainings, etc.) for the doctoral studies
  • Planned supporting master’s and bachelor theses
  • Total costs of the PhD thesis as well as requested total amount of financial contribution from VIRTUAL VEHICLE (note: adequacy of costs is a major decision criterion)
  • The application comprises the scientific CV of the PhD candidate and the supervising professor at the scientific institution

Please use our online contact form to send us your application.



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