Microstructural and mechanical characterization of postweld heat-treated thermite weld in rails
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This paper describes a comparative study of the hardness characteristics, mechanical properties, microstructures, and fracture mechanisms of the thermite welded rail steel joints before and after heat treatment. It has been found that heat treatment of the welded joint improves the mechanical properties (UTS and elongation), and changes the fracture mechanism from brittle to ductile. Improved strength and elongation are attributed to the finer ferrite-pearlite microstructure and the different fracture mechanism. Microporosity and numerous inclusions were seen on the fracture surface of the welded joint. The chemical composition of the inclusions indicated that the molten thermite mixture had reacted with the magnesite lining of the ladle and the feeder. (C) Elsevier Science Inc., 1999. All rights reserved.