By modifying friction to the desired level, the application of friction modifiers (FMs) has been considered as a promising emerging tool in the railway engineering for increasing braking/traction force in poor adhesion conditions and mitigating wheel/rail interface deterioration, energy consumption, vibration and noise. Understanding the effectiveness of FMs in wheel–rail dynamic interactions is crucial to their proper applications in practice, which has, however, not been well explained. This study experimentally investigates the effects of two types of top-of-rail FM, i.e. FM-A and FM-B, and their application dosages on wheel–rail dynamic interactions with a range of angles of attack (AoAs) using an innovative well-controlled V-track test rig. The tested FMs have been used to provide intermediate friction for wear and noise reduction. The effectiveness of the FMs is assessed in terms of the wheel–rail adhesion characteristics and friction rolling induced axle box acceleration (ABA). This study provides the following new insights into the study of FM: the applications of the tested FMs can both reduce the wheel–rail adhesion level and change the negative friction characteristic to positive; stick–slip can be generated in the V-Track and eliminated by FM-A but intensified by FM-B, depending on the dosage of the FMs applied; the negative friction characteristic is not a must for stick–slip; the increase in ABA with AoA is insignificant until stick–slip occurs and the ABA can thus be influenced by the applications of FM.
- Angle of attack
- Axle box acceleration
- Friction modifier
- V-track test rig
- Wheel–rail dynamic interaction