Modelling of wheels and rail discontinuities in dynamic wheel–rail contact analysis

February 17, 2007 in

Journal Paper

Michaël Steenbergen

ISSN Vol. 44, No. 10, October 2006, 763–787
DOI DOI: 10.1080/00423110600648535


Vehicle System Dynamics

Publishing date: February 17, 2007

Dipped joint, impact load, rail joint, Wheel model, wheel–rail contact

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A classification of wheel–rail contact is given. Difference is made between modelling of a running wheel with continuous single-point-contact, as is common practice in wheel–rail contact analysis, and a wheel with transient double- or multi-point-contact, which may occur for rail irregularities with curvatures larger than that of the wheel circumference. It is shown that application of the first model for these irregularities will strongly underestimate the contact forces as it does not describe occurring mechanisms correctly. Further, it is shown that in principle it is not possible to describe the second type of contact fully correct with a lumped wheel model. Both wheel models are formulated mathematically for some basic contact cases. Afterwards, results are applied to a linear track model. Analytical closed-form solutions are found in the frequency domain for arbitrary type of contact and numerically transformed to the time domain. Finally, the necessity is shown to avoid situations where transient multiple-point-contact may occur (like rail joints) in practice.