Study on Friction and Wear Properties of Pantograph Strip/Copper Contact Wire for High-Speed Train

Tao Ding*, 1, Wenjing Xuan2, Qiudong He1, Hao Wu1, Wei Xiong1
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hubei Engineering University, Xiaogan 432000, China
2 College of Technology, Hubei Engineering University, Xiaogan 432000, China

© 2014 Ding et al

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


A series of experiments on friction and wear properties of carbon strip rubbing against copper contact wire is performed on high-speed friction and wear tester with electric current. The results show that the friction coefficient is generally maintained between 0.24 and 0.37. In the absence of electric current, the coefficient of friction is higher than that in the presence of electric current. The wear rate of carbon strip materials is generally not more than 0.014g/km. In particular, the wear rate under the electric current of 240 A is 14 times more than that in the absence of electric current. By observing the scar of worn surface with optical microscope, it can be found that there are obvious slip scars and arc erosive pits. The dominated wear mechanisms are abrasive wear and arc erosion in electrical sliding frictional process.

Keywords: Arc erosion, friction and wear, high-speed, wear mechanism.