Experimental and numerical investigation of the deep rolling process focussing on 34CrNiMo6 railway axles

Tobias Pertoll, Christian Buzzi, Andreas Dutzler, Martin Leitner, Benjamin Seisenbacher, Gerhard Winter, László Boronkai

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Deep rolling is a powerful tool to increase the service life or reduce the weight of railway axles. Three fatigue-resistant increasing effects are achieved in one treatment: lower surface roughness, strain hardening and compressive residual stresses near the surface. In this work, all measurable changes introduced by the deep rolling process are investigated. A partly deep-rolled railway axle made of high strength steel material 34CrNiMo6 is investigated experimentally. Microstructure analyses, hardness-, roughness-, FWHM- and residual stress measurements are performed. By the microstructure analyses a very local grain distortion, in the range < 5 µm, is proven in the deep rolled section. Stable hardness values, but increased strain hardening is detected by means of FWHM and the surface roughness is significantly reduced by the process application. Residual stresses were measured using the XRD and HD methods. Similar surface values are proven, but the determined depth profiles deviate. Residual stress measurements have generally limitations when measuring in depth, but especially their distribution is significant for increasing the durability of steel materials. Therefore, a numerical deep rolling simulation model is additionally built. Based on uniaxial tensile and cyclic test results, examined on specimen machined from the edge layer of the railway axle, an elastic–plastic Chaboche material model is parameterised. The material model is added to the simulation model and so the introduced residual stresses can be simulated. The comparison of the simulated residual stress in-depth profile, considering the electrochemical removal, shows good agreement to the measurement results. The so validated simulation model is able to determine the prevailing residual stress state near the surface after deep rolling the railway axle. Maximum compressive residual stresses up to about -1,000 MPa near the surface are achieved. The change from the induced compressive to the compensating tensile residual stress range occurs at a depth of 3.5 mm and maximum tensile residual stresses of + 100 MPa at a depth of 4 mm are introduced. In summary, the presented experimental and numerical results demonstrate the modifications induced by the deep rolling process application on a railway axle and lay the foundation for a further optimisation of the deep rolling process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number51
Number of pages22
JournalInternational journal of material forming
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s).


  • 34CrNiMo6
  • Deep rolling
  • Finite element method
  • Mechanical surface treatment
  • Railway axle
  • Residual stress

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