Szabolcs Fischer, Dóra Harangozó, Dalma Németh, Bence Kocsis, Mykola Sysyn, Dmytro Kurhan, András Brautigam

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The paper investigates the heat-affected zone (HAZ) of several rail joints executed by thermite rail welding (TW). The examined rail profile was 54E1 (UIC54). The rail steel categories were different: R260 and R400HT. The welding portions of the TWs fitted R350HT and R260 rail categories with normal welding gaps. The rail pieces were brand new, i.e., without any usage in the railway track. The authors executed Vickers-hardness tests (HV10) and material texture tests on the running surface of the rail head, as well as on slices cut from the rail head. The cutting was performed by the water jet method, five longitudinal direction slices with vertical cutting lines. The considered specimen lengths were 2×70 mm (i.e., 70 mm from the mid-point of the rail joint), however, the depths were 20 mm from the running surface. Therefore, the measuring spaces were 5 mm lengthwise and 2 mm in depth. The variation of the hardness values was determined considering the microstructures of the base steel material and the TW. For comparison, previously measured Elektrothermit SoW-5 and earlier own research were taken into consideration.


Thermite rail welding, Heat-affected zone, HAZ, Vickers hardness, Brinell hardness, Microstructure

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