To identify the imperfection of technological processes in the smelting of rail steel and the subsequent production of rails in modern conditions, traditional methods of research are not enough. The purpose of this article is to continue the works that have already been started on the development of new techniques and the possibilities of applying a combination of traditional, standardized metal analysis techniques and modern methods for analyzing materials such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray microanalysis, measuring the Barkhausen noise amplitude, residual stresses for searching for defects, analyzing the structure of the material in order to improve the production technology. For the analysis, a scanning electron microscope JEOL JIB-Z4500, equipped with an add-on unit for energy-dispersive analysis, a residual stress determination device and a digital analyzer Rollscan 300 for measuring the amplitude of Barkhausen noise, as well as an optical microscope MET-2, cutting and grinding machines for preparation samples to metallographic studies. According to changes in the magnetoelastic parameter, defects of structure and cracks in the surface layer of the sample were determined in different regions. The study of the microstructure on the metallographic microscope MET-2 made it possible to establish the phases of which the sample is made. The SEM study allowed confirming this and accurately measuring the lamellar perlite score. Also, the SEM and X-ray microanalysis method helped to determine the nature and composition of non-metallic inclusions, to show the distribution of elements over the surface of microsections. Thus, the combination of traditional metallographic, mechanical and new research methods that complement and refine the requirements of GOST R 51685-2013, can allow fast and accurate analyzing of the conformity of rail steels to GOSTs, and also will allow determining the causes of rail failure and non-conformities to technological processes.
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