Using cryogenic technology to increase adhesion

Using cryogenic technology to increase adhesion

University of Sheffield


This project is about control of wheel/rail Interface conditions using cryogenic blasting. The aim was to assess the feasibility of using cryogen blasting as a new approach to achieve predictable conditions in the wheel/rail interface. A combination of modelling cryogen behaviour and small-scale laboratory traction recovery tests were undertaken. This led to high-speed trials and full-scale wheel/rail tests designed to assess the technique's capability. This solution was chosen because it leaves dry surfaces, it can be closely controlled, and no damage to wheel/rail surfaces is anticipated.

This solution to adhesion uses a compact on‐board device to generate and blast dry‐ice, leaving no particles or wheel/rail damage. Potential benefits include improved adhesion, reduced delays and increased capacity.