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.