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Metallurgical and Nondestructive Testing of Rail from the 1800s to 2018

The weight and speed of trains have continuously increased over the years, driving improvements in rail metallurgy and inspection to assure safety and efficiency in railroad operations. The chemical and mechanical properties of rail are continuously researched, evaluated, and fine-tuned, adding desired material characteristics to address rail strength, fatigue resistance, and wear. As material characteristics are optimized, manufacturing and service discontinuity characteristics and types are influenced, identifying the need for continuous improvements in rail metallurgy, inspection technology, and manufacturing approaches. This paper provides a brief overview of metallurgical and nondestructive testing (NDT) approaches related to the manufacturing of rail in North America from the late 1800s to present day.

References

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