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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M023044/1
Title: Rail-energy knowledge exchange on emerging materials (ALCHEMy)
Principal Investigator: Lewis, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Smith, Professor D Pavier, Professor MJ Truman, Professor CE
Engelberg, Dr D L Marshall, Professor MBJ Peel, Dr M
Fletcher, Dr DI Mostafavi, Dr M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
L. B. Foster Rail Technologies Laser Cladding Technology Ltd (LCT) Network Rail
SKF Group (UK) Tata Steel
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2015 Ends: 28 February 2019 Value (£): 710,729
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Transport Ops & Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Feb 2015 New Materials for Rail Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
In order to improve the management of railway networks and provide the timetables that passengers demand throughout the week, track components with greater durability that are easier to maintain are essential. With these in place less access will be needed to the track, keeping it free for trains.

The aim of this project is, through the use of process modelling and full-scale testing and modelling, to enable the effective design of a laser clad layer of premium material for application to a range of track components to reduce wear and the likelihood of rolling contact fatigue occurring. These are the two most prolific damage mechanisms in railway track. A major goal of the project is to comprehensively study the behaviour of cladded components on a test track to validate the modelling and laboratory work.

The technique, as well as improving component life and reducing maintenance needs, will reduce costs by allowing lower grade rail material to be used and also in-situ repairs could be facilitated eventually, negating the need for components to be removed from track when they reach the end of their life.

The project, while focussed on railway track applications will also consider vehicle components in parallel activity and ensure that the knowledge and fundamental knowledge gained on the integrity of cladded components through multi-scale modelling of different geometries and cladding parameters is transferred to other sectors where cladding is used, such as energy, oil and gas and aerospace.

Key Findings
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk