Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 515–517 | Cite as

Failure Mode Changes with Successive Component Improvements

  • D. H. Stone


The relatively recent appearance of formerly rare vertical split rim wheel failures provides a good case study of how a shift in failure mode occurs when a material improvement is made to solve an existing problem. The mode of railroad wheel failures have changed three times over the past 40 years when the dominate failure mode has been identified and corrected. When the principal failure mode has been corrected the service life increases, but a new or previously minor failure mode assumes the role of principle failure cause. Because of the large population of railroad wheels in North American service, failure trends can be easily observed. This paper will discuss the evolution of failure mode with successive material and structural improvements.


Structural integrity Steel Rolling contact fatigue 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engineering Systems IncOmahaUSA

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