Experimental and numerical modelling of wheel¿rail contact and wear

Autores UPV
Revista Wear


In the field of simulation of railroad vehicles, there are many numerical models to estimate the interaction forces between the wheel and rail. The main advantage of these models is that they can be used together with multi-body dynamics software to calculate the motion of a vehicle in real time. However, the result of these contact models is usually post-processed to estimate wear on the profiles and some hypotheses assumed by the contact models may be inadequate for wear analysis. This is the case when considering surface roughness, which is not introduced in the numerical models and makes wear prediction imprecise. In this work an experimental method based on the measurement of ultrasonic reflection is used to solve the contact problem, together with a FASTSIM (simplified theory of rolling contact) algorithm. This technique is suitable to deal with rough surfaces and gives a better approximation of the material behaviour. Wear is estimated by means of the energy dissipation approach (T·gamma). Two different contacts are investigated, using wheel and rail profiles coming from unused and worn specimens. In order to obtain realistic results, special care is taken when locating the specimens to reproduce the same contact that appears between the wheel and the rail in the track. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.