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Simulation and Measurement of Wheel on Rail Fatigue and Wear
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The life of railway wheels and rails has been decreasing in recent years. This is mainly caused by more traffic and running at higher vehicle speed. A higher speed usually generates higher forces, unless compensated by improved track and vehicle designs, in the wheel-rail contact, resulting in more wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF) damage to the wheels and rails. As recently as 15 years ago, RCF was not recognised as a serious problem. Nowadays it is a serious problem in many countries and ''artificial wear'' is being used to control the growth of cracks by preventive re-profiling and grinding of, respectively, the wheels and rails.  This can be used because a competition exists between wear and surface initiated RCF: At a high wear rate, RCF does not have the opportunity to develop further. Initiated cracks are in this case worn off and will not be able to propagate deep beneath the surface of the rail or wheel.

When wheel-rail damage in terms of wear and RCF can be predicted, measures can be taken to decrease it. For example, the combination of wheel and rail profiles, or the combination of vehicle and track, can be optimised to control the damage. Not only can this lead to lower maintenance costs, but also to a safer system since high potential risks can be detected in advance.

This thesis describes the development of a wheel-rail life prediction tool with regard to both wear and surface-initiated RCF. The main goal of this PhD work was to develop such a tool where vehicle-track dynamics simulations are implemented. This way, many different wheel-rail contact conditions which a wheel or a rail will encounter in reality can be taken into account.

The wear prediction part of the tool had already been successfully developed by others to be used in combination with multibody simulations. The crack prediction part, however, was more difficult to be used in combination with multibody simulations since crack propagation models are time-consuming. Therefore, more concessions had to be made in the crack propagation part of the tool, since time-consuming detailed modelling of the crack, for example in Finite Elements models, was not an option. The use of simple and fast, but less accurate, crack propagation models is the first step in the development of a wheel-rail life prediction model.

Another goal of this work was to verify the wheel-rail prediction tool against measurements of profile and crack development. For this purpose, the wheel profiles of trains running on the Stockholm commuter network have been measured together with the crack development on these wheels. Three train units were selected and their wheels have been measured over a period of more than a year. The maximum running distance for these wheels was 230,000 km.

A chosen fatigue model was calibrated against crack and wear measurements of rails to determine two unknown parameters.  The verification of the prediction tool against the wheel measurements, however, showed that one of the calibrated parameters was not valid to predict RCF on wheels. It could be concluded that wheels experience relatively less RCF damage than rails. Once the two parameters were calibrated against the wheel measurements, the prediction tool showed promising results for predicting both wear and RCF and their trade-off. The predicted position of the damage on the tread of the wheel also agreed well with the position found in the measurements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. , xiv, 73 p.
Series
TRITA-AVE, ISSN 1651-7660 ; 2015:16
Keyword [en]
multibody simulations, prediction, wear, RCF, wheel, rail, cracks, measurements
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Vehicle and Maritime Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-168023ISBN: 978-91-7595-544-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-168023DiVA: diva2:813969
Public defence
2015-06-02, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 15:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150526

Available from: 2015-05-26 Created: 2015-05-25 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Prediction model for wheel profile wear and rolling contact fatigue
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prediction model for wheel profile wear and rolling contact fatigue
2011 (English)In: Wear, ISSN 0043-1648, E-ISSN 1873-2577, Vol. 271, no 1-2, 210-217 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A lifetime prediction tool for railway wheels and rails should be able to predict both wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF), which are the two main deterioration phenomena. Several models exist to predict wear or RCF, but not many models exist which can predict both. In this study, two of these RCF prediction models have been extended. The performance of these models has been studied through a parametric study where multi-body simulations (MBS) provided the input to the models. The influences of several parameters which can have an effect on the wheel/rail life have been studied in order to find the behaviour of the different models. These parameters are: curve radius, worn wheel and rail profiles, coefficient of friction, primary stiffness, track irregularities, and cant deficiency. This paper describes the differences between the two models and shows that the adjustments of the models have a significant influence on RCF prediction.

Keyword
Railway wear, Rolling contact fatigue, Wheel-rail contact, Simulation
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Research subject
Järnvägsgruppen - Fordonsteknik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-35597 (URN)10.1016/j.wear.2010.10.028 (DOI)000291777600027 ()2-s2.0-79955781274 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20110706 8th Conference on Contact Mechanics and Wear of Rail/Wheel Systems (CM2009), Florence, ITALY, SEP, 2009Available from: 2011-07-06 Created: 2011-07-04 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. Prediction of wheel profile wear and rolling contact fatigue for the Stockholm commuter train
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prediction of wheel profile wear and rolling contact fatigue for the Stockholm commuter train
2010 (English)In: 16th International Wheelset Congress, 2010Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although several models exist to predict rolling contact fatigue (RCF) or wear, only a few models exist which can predict both. RCF and wear interact with each other, therefore a model has to be developed that can calculate both RCF and wear in order to get a lifetime prediction tool for railway wheels and rails. In this study, vehicle dynamics simulations were performed with the models of two different vehicle types running on the Stockholm commuter network. The performance of these vehicles has been studied with respect to wear and RCF by importing the output from the vehicle dynamics simulations into different wear and RCF models. The performance of these prediction models has also been studied. The influences of several parameters on the behavior of both the vehicles and the prediction models were studied. The results show that not only the vehicles behave differently, but also the wear and RCF prediction models. 

Keyword
railway wear, rolling contact fatigue, vehicle behaviour, simulation, wheel-rail contact
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Research subject
Järnvägsgruppen - Fordonsteknik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48692 (URN)
Conference
16th International Wheelset Congress. Cape Town. March 14-19, 2010
Note
QC 20111125Available from: 2011-11-22 Created: 2011-11-22 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved
3. The development of a crack propagation model for railway wheels and rails
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The development of a crack propagation model for railway wheels and rails
2015 (English)In: Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures, ISSN 8756-758X, E-ISSN 1460-2695, Vol. 38, no 12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rolling contact fatigue (RCF) and wear of railway wheels and rails are the main phenomena that affect their maintenance costs. When crack propagation and wear rates can be predicted, maintenance planning can be optimised, and cost-effective measures can be developed. Several RCF models exist, but none which can be used in combination with vehicle dynamics simulations and can predict the actual crack depth. This study shows the development of a crack propagation model that can be applied for both railway wheels and rails. Two unknown material parameters in the model were calibrated against crack measurements in a curve on the Dutch railways over a period of 5years. Two different RCF models were used to calculate the stress magnitudes for the propagation model. The propagation model can be used in combination with vehicle-track dynamics simulations and shows promise in predicting the actual crack depth and/or surface length. Further research is needed to determine the model’s validity for other operational conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2015
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-168078 (URN)10.1111/ffe.12318 (DOI)000365844900007 ()2-s2.0-84947026068 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160108

Available from: 2015-05-26 Created: 2015-05-26 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. Prediction of wheel profile wear and crack growth: comparisons with measurements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prediction of wheel profile wear and crack growth: comparisons with measurements
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-168079 (URN)
Note

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-05-26 Created: 2015-05-26 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved

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