Dry ice solution to slippery ‘leaves on the line’

Friction PG Professor Roger Lewis has been leading a team of researchers at The University of Sheffield investigating the potential of dry ice, to solve the slippery problem of leaves on the line causing delays and disruptions in rail travel.

Leaves form a slippery layer when they fall onto the tracks and are compacted, this can reduce the friction between the wheel and the rail itself, causing longer stopping distances for trains and slowing acceleration.

The leaf layer itself is an interesting phenomenon and and the structure, formation and friction of this layers forms one of the key areas that is being investigated in the Friction Programme Grant under Challenge 2 Project 5.

For full details of the story see the University of Sheffield press release

Friction: The Tribology Enigma is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, under grant no. EP/R001766/1