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Modelling of grease transport mechanism in wayside rail lubrication and impact of related parameters

Rail and wheel wear are major components of operating costs with all rail operators and infrastructure owners. Wayside lubrication methods are used to apply grease to the gauge corner of the rails where it is picked up by train wheels passing through the lubricator site. Different methods and placement locations are currently being used in different rail networks to lubricate rail and wheel. Field investigations show that in many curves effective lubrication ends up within a few meters of wayside lubricator sites. Rail wheel maintenance and replacement costs are huge in most heavy haul networks. Change in placement location, equipment, quality of grease and rail wheel conditions influence the grease carry distance. A limited number of studies are available in literature on the lubrication transport mechanism while a detailed study on modelling of the grease transport mechanism and the impact of the parameters mentioned above on grease transport has not yet been attempted. Further study is therefore required to clearly understand the grease/lubrication transport mechanism which is the key factor for the success of effective lubrication. Field trials and laboratory tests show wide variations in grease loss and carry distance due to the factors influencing the transport mechanism. Field and laboratory test data is analysed and a mathematical model is developed based on the findings for effective grease transport in this study. This research will enhance the understanding of the grease transport mechanism and the effective carry of grease in the gauge corner area of the rail wheel interface.


Category 4 - CRC Research Income


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Brisbane, Australia


The Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA)

Place of Publication

Canberra, Australia

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


External Author Affiliations

Centre for Railway Engineering; Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability (IRIS); Rail Innovation Australia Pty Ltd;

Era Eligible


Name of Conference

Conference on Railway Engineering

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