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  • 1.
    Dirks, Babette
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Simulation and Measurement of Wheel on Rail Fatigue and Wear2015Doctoral 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.

  • 2.
    Dirks, Babette
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Enblom, Roger
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles. Bombardier Transportation, Passengers Division - Specialist Engineering, Sweden .
    Development of a fatigue damage model by using eddy current measurements of the Swedish iron ore railway2012In: 9th International Conference on Contact Mechanics and Wear of Rail/Wheel Systems, CM 2012, 2012, p. 547-549Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Dirks, Babette
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Enblom, Roger
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Prediction model for wheel profile wear and rolling contact fatigue2009In: 8th International Conference on Contact Mechanics and Wear of Rail/Wheel Systems, 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    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 that 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 behavior 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.

  • 4.
    Dirks, Babette
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Enblom, Roger
    Bombardier Transportation, Passengers Division - Specialist Engineering, Västerås, Sweden.
    Prediction model for wheel profile wear and rolling contact fatigue2011In: Wear, ISSN 0043-1648, E-ISSN 1873-2577, Vol. 271, no 1-2, p. 210-217Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 5.
    Dirks, Babette
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Enblom, Roger
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Prediction of wheel profile wear and rolling contact fatigue for the Stockholm commuter train2010In: 16th International Wheelset Congress, 2010Conference 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. 

  • 6.
    Dirks, Babette
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Enblom, Roger
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles. Bombardier Transportation, Sweden .
    Berg, Mats
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Prediction of wheel profile wear and crack growth - comparisons with measurements2016In: Wear, ISSN 0043-1648, E-ISSN 1873-2577, Vol. 366, p. 84-94Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A model which can predict the length of the surface crack and crack depth in rails was developed in a previous study by the authors B. Dirks, R. Enblom, A. Ekberg, M. Berg (2015) []. In the present study, verification of this crack prediction model in combination with a wear prediction model was done against wheel measurements. For a period of 15 months, the wheels of three units of a Stockholm commuter train were measured with respect to wear and crack development for verification of the wheel life prediction tool. Vehicle-track dynamics simulations were used to calculate the forces and contact positions for the wear and crack prediction models. It can be concluded that the wear prediction model gives reasonable results, especially considering the large scatter in the wheel profile measurements. Although the wheel life prediction tool could not be verified, since the crack prediction model had to be recalibrated for the current wheel application, the results appear promising.

  • 7.
    Dirks, Babette
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering.
    Enblom, Roger
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering.
    Berg, Mats
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering.
    Prediction of wheel profile wear and crack growth: Comparisons with measurements2015In: CM 2015 - 10th International Conference on Contact Mechanics of Wheel / Rail Systems, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A model which can predict the surface crack length and crack depth in rails was developed in a previous study by the authors1. In the present study, this crack prediction model in combination with a wear prediction model is verified against wheel measurements. For a period of 15 months, the wheels of three units of a Stockholm commuter train were measured with respect to wear and crack development. Vehicle-track dynamics simulations were used to calculate the forces and contact positions for the wear and crack prediction models. It can be concluded that the wear prediction model gives reasonable results, especially considering the large scatter in the wheel profile measurements. Although the crack prediction model had to be adjusted for the current wheel application, the results appear promising.

  • 8.
    Dirks, Babette
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Enblom, Roger
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles. Bombardier Transportation, Sweden.
    Berg, Mats
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Prediction of wheel profile wear and crack growth: comparisons with measurementsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Dirks, Babette
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    Enblom, Roger
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles. Bombardier Transportation, Sweden.
    Ekberg, A.
    Berg, Mats
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Rail Vehicles.
    The development of a crack propagation model for railway wheels and rails2015In: Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures, ISSN 8756-758X, E-ISSN 1460-2695, Vol. 38, no 12Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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