Using water to increase adhesion

Using water to increase adhesion

University of Sheffield


The 'Controlled Water Addition to Improve Braking Performance' project aims to assess the feasibility of using water application under a range of conditions (varying flow rate, temperature, etc.) to achieve predictable adhesion in the wheel/rail interface. Small scale traction recovery tests were used to inform full-scale wheel/rail tests designed to assess the capability of the technique. This solution was chosen as water is readily available and can easily be applied to the wheel/rail interface from on-board systems. It is also an environmentally friendly solution that will leave no residue.

The application of water to achieve predictable adhesion in a variety of testing conditions was demonstrated at test track in November 2018. Potential benefits include improved adhesion, reduced delays and increased capacity.