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Impact of non-elliptic contact modelling in wheel wear simulation
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles. KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Centres, The KTH Railway Group.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3447-6686
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2571-4662
2008 (English)In: Wear, ISSN 0043-1648, E-ISSN 1873-2577, Vol. 265, no 9-10, 1532-1541 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Advances in simulation of railway wheel wear in the sense of material removal have drawn the attention to the importance of wheel–rail contact modelling. As a further step of enhancing the used simulation procedure in direction of increased generality and reduced need for application-dependent calibration, the focus of this investigation is the influence of non-elliptic contact models on the wheel wear rate and profile shape. To facilitate evaluation the semi-Hertzian contact procedure Stripes, developed by INRETS in France, has been implemented.

To investigate the capabilities of Stripes to assess the contact area and pressure, shape comparisons have been made with other numerical methods for a set of wheel–rail contact situations. The referenced results are based on the linear elastic half-space assumption, elastic finite element analysis, and elastic–plastic finite element analysis. For reference also the elliptic contact area according to Hertz is shown as given by the contact data table of the multi-body simulation code.

After exploring the properties of the Stripes procedure with respect to contact area estimation and pressure distribution, the focus is moved to the influence on wear rate, being the principal objective of this investigation. First the wear distribution over the contact patch is studied and compared to results using the elliptic model from the MBS code Gensys and the non-elliptic approach with Kalker's code Contact. Finally the evolution of the wheel profile is simulated for a few typical cases.

This investigation of wear distributions over non-elliptic patches under different operating conditions indicates significant differences compared to both Contact and the applied Hertzian approach. The expansion from single contact occasions to complete simulations indicates comparable material removal rates but relocation towards the flange side. This tendency is apparent in all of the cases shown, however limited to initial wear in tangent run or reasonably mild curve negotiation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 265, no 9-10, 1532-1541 p.
Keyword [en]
Wheel–rail contact, Non-elliptic contact, Railway wheel wear, Wheel profile, Simulation
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Research subject
Järnvägsgruppen - Fordonsteknik
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6416DOI: 10.1016/j.wear.2008.01.027ISI: 000258891700050ScopusID: 2-s2.0-48049116202OAI: diva2:11120
7th International Conference on Contact Mechanics and Wear of Rail/Wheel Systems Location: Brisbane, AUSTRALIA Date: SEP, 2006Available from: 2006-11-22 Created: 2006-11-22 Last updated: 2011-08-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On Simulation of Uniform Wear and Profile Evolution in the Wheel - Rail Contact
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On Simulation of Uniform Wear and Profile Evolution in the Wheel - Rail Contact
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Numerical procedures for reliable wheel and rail wear prediction are rare. Recent development of simulation techniques and computer power together with tribological knowledge do however suggest computer aided wear prediction as possible. The present objective is to devise a numerical procedure able to simulate profile evolution due to uniform wear sufficiently accurate for application to vehicle dynamics simulation. Such a tool should be useful for maintenance planning, optimisation of the railway system and its components as well as trouble-shooting. More specifically, the field of application may include estimation of reprofiling frequency, optimisation of wheel – rail profile match, optimisation of running gear suspension parameters, and recognition of unfavourable profile evolution influencing the dynamic response of the vehicle.

The research contribution accounted for in this thesis includes, besides a literature review, modelling of the wheel – rail interface, benchmarking against traditional methods, and validation with respect to full-scale measurements.

The first part addresses wheel – rail contact conditions in the context of wear simulation as well as tribological environment and tractive forces. The current approach includes Archard’s wear model with associated wear maps, vehicle dynamics simulation, and railway network definition. One objective is to be able to include variations in operation conditions in the set of simulations instead of using scaling factors. In particular the influence of disc braking and varying lubrication conditions have been investigated. Both environmental factors like moist and contamination and deliberate lubrication need to be considered. As part of the associated contact analysis the influence of tangential elastic deformation of the contacting surfaces has been investigated and found to be essential in case of partial slip contact conditions. The influence on the calculated wear of replacing the Hertzian contact by a non-elliptic semi-Hertzian method has been investigated, showing relocation of material loss towards increased profile curvature.

In the second part comparisons have been carried out with traditional methods, where the material loss is assumed to be directly related to the energy dissipated in the contact. Attention has been paid to the understanding of the principle differences between the investigated methods, comparing the distribution of friction energy, sliding velocity, and wear depth. As a prerequisite, contact conditions with dependence on wheelset guidance and curving performance as well as influence of tractive forces have been investigated.

In the final part validation of the developments related to wheel wear simulation is addressed. Disc braking has been included and a wear map for moist contact conditions based on recent tests has been drafted. Good agreement with measurements from the reference operation, is achieved. Further a procedure for simulation of rail wear and corresponding profile evolution has been formulated. A simulation set is selected defining the vehicles running on the track to be investigated, their operating conditions, and contact parameters. Trial calculations of a few curves show qualitatively good results in terms of profile shape development and difference in wear mechanisms between gauge corner and rail head. The wear rates related to traffic tonnage are however overestimated. The impact of the model improvements accounted for in the first part of the thesis has been investigated, indicating directions for further development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. x, 100 p.
Trita-AVE, ISSN 1651-7660 ; 2006:83
wheel-rail contact, wear, wear prediction, wear model, wheel profile, rail
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4184 (URN)978-91-7178-605-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-12-05, Salongen, KTHB, Osquars Backe 31, Stockholm, 10:00
QC 20110124Available from: 2006-11-22 Created: 2006-11-22 Last updated: 2011-11-24Bibliographically approved

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