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Wheel-rail contact modelling and analysis, considering profiles types and lateral displacement

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Cristian UlianovORCiD, Dr Francis Franklin


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The separation between the contacting surfaces in wheel-rail contact depends on many variables such as wheel and rail profiles, rail inclination, gauge, and lateral displacement. Although the S1002 wheel profile and UIC60 rail seems to be the most common combination in the European rail sector currently, interoperability is still affected by the different values of the rail inclination, which can vary between 1/40, 1/30 and 1/20. This study analyses some particular cases in Romania, where the S78 wheel profile is commonly used, in conjunction with rail types UIC49 and UIC60, with rail inclination 1/20. The paper presents the wheel-rail contact model, developed mainly to analyse and estimate the impact of wheel and rail profile modifications caused by wear, and of lateral displacements, as well. A fast and robust algorithm has been developed and applied to solve the stress state in the general case of non-Hertzian contacts, to enable the analysis of the pressure distributions and determine the influence of these deviations. This elastic-plastic model enables a fast analysis of the influence of different parameters such as load level and contact geometry, including the profiles’ changes due to the wear process.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Barbinta CI, Ulianov C, Franklin F, Cretu S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Transport Research Arena, TRA 2014

Year of Conference: 2014

Pages: 10-10

Publisher: IFSTTAR, France