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An Investigation of the Iron-Ore Wheel Damages using Vehicle Dynamics Simulation
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6346-6620
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Maintenance cost is one of the important issues in railway heavy haul operations. For the iron-ore company LKAB, these costs are mainly associated with the reprofiling and changing of the wheels of the locomotives and wagons. The main reason for the wheel damages is usually surface initiated rolling contact fatigue (RCF) on the wheels.The present work tries to enhance and improve the knowledge of the vehicle-track interaction of the Swedish iron-ore freight wagons and locomotives used at Malmbanan. The study is divided into two parts. Firstly, it is tried to get into the roots of RCF using the simulation model of the iron ore wagon (Paper A). Secondly, the study is focused on predicting wear and RCF on the locomotive wheels also via a dynamic simulation model (Paper B).In the first paper, some key issues of the dynamic modelling of the wagons with three piece bogies are first discussed and then parameter studies are carried out to find the most important reasons of wheel damages. These parameter studies include track design geometry, track irregularities, wheel-rail friction level, cant deficiency and track stiffness. The results show a significant effect of the friction level on the amount of RCF risk.As the locomotive wheel life is much shorter than that of the wagons, LKAB has decided to change the locomotive wheel profile. Two final wheel profiles are proposed; however, one had to be approved for the field tests. In the second paper, the long term evolution of the two profiles is compared via wear simulation analysis. Also, the RCF evolution on the wheel profiles as a function of running distance is discussed. The process is first carried out for the current locomotive wheel profiles and the results are compared with the measurements. Good agreement is achieved. Finally, one of the proposed profiles is suggested for the field test because of the mild wear and RCF propagation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , viii, 35 p.
TRITA-AVE, ISSN 1651-7660 ; 2014:80
Keyword [en]
three-piece bogie, wear, RCF, prediction, traction, braking, heavy haul, simulation
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Research subject
Vehicle and Maritime Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-159733ISBN: 978-91-7595-405-9OAI: diva2:787084
2015-02-12, Fordonslaboratoriet, Teknikringen 8 BV 177 63, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20150210

Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-09 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Wheel damage on the Swedish iron ore line investigated via multibody simulation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Wheel damage on the Swedish iron ore line investigated via multibody simulation
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of the Institution of mechanical engineers. Part F, journal of rail and rapid transit, ISSN 0954-4097, Vol. 228, no 6, 652-662 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Swedish iron ore company LKAB uses freight wagons with three-piece bogies to transport iron ore from its mines in Kiruna and Malmberget to the ports at Lulea and Narvik. A simulation model of the freight wagon is built using the multibody simulation code GENSYS. The objective is to investigate possible sources of rolling contact fatigue (RCF) of the wheels given the high level of observed damage. A parameter study is performed on the effects of vertical track stiffness and viscous damping that occur as a result of seasonal variations of the track condition. Another parameter study is carried out on the influence of the wheel/rail friction coefficient as in winter time the climate is very dry along most parts of the Malmbanan line. The impact of track gauge, track quality and cant deficiency on RCF is also studied. Comparing the calculated and observed RCF locations on wheels, attempts are made to find a relation between wear number and RCF damage. To detect the surface-initiated fatigue a so-called shakedown map is used. It is shown that RCF occurs on the tread of the inner wheels while negotiating curves with below an approximately 450 m radius. It is also shown that cant deficiency can be helpful for the vehicles to negotiate curves and to reduce the risk of RCF, however, on the other hand it may increase the track forces and in severe cases result in flange climbing. Lateral track irregularities and a large track gauge result in small contact areas and can lead to a higher risk of RCF. In cold dry climate conditions, as the water content in air drops significantly, the wheel/rail friction coefficient increases and when the material in the wheel begins to behave in a brittle manner, the risk of RCF is significantly increased, especially when the wear rate is not high enough to remove the initiated cracks.

Rolling contact fatigue, wear, three-piece bogie, simulation, track forces, friction
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-150935 (URN)10.1177/0954409714523264 (DOI)000340543500010 ()2-s2.0-84905513096 (ScopusID)

QC 20140912

Available from: 2014-09-12 Created: 2014-09-11 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
2. Prediction of RCF  and Wear Evolution of Iron-Ore Locotomotive
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prediction of RCF  and Wear Evolution of Iron-Ore Locotomotive
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-159756 (URN)

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved

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