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Research Papers

Development of a Model for the Prediction of Wheel and Rail Wear in the Railway Field

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Ignesti

Department of Energy Engineering,  University of Florence, 50139 Firenze, Italyignesti@mapp1.de.unifi.it

L. Marini

Department of Energy Engineering,  University of Florence, 50139 Firenze, Italymarini@mapp1.de.unifi.it

E. Meli

Department of Energy Engineering,  University of Florence, 50139 Firenze, Italymeli@mapp1.de.unifi.it

A. Rindi

Department of Energy Engineering,  University of Florence, 50139 Firenze, Italyrindi@mapp1.de.unifi.it

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 7(4), 041004 (Jun 13, 2012) (14 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006732 History: Received October 26, 2011; Revised December 21, 2011; Published June 13, 2012; Online June 13, 2012

The wear prediction at the wheel-rail interface is a fundamental problem in the railway field, mainly correlated to the planning of maintenance interventions, vehicle stability, and the possibility of researching strategies for the design of optimal wheel and rail profiles from the wear point of view. The authors in this work present a model specifically developed for the evaluation of the wheel and rail wear and of the wheel and rail profiles evolution. The model layout is made up of two mutually interactive parts: a vehicle model for the dynamical analysis and a model for the wear estimation. The first one is a 3D multibody model of a railway vehicle where the wheel-rail interaction is implemented in a C/C++ user routine. Particularly, the research of the contact points between wheel and rail is based on an innovative algorithm developed by authors in previous works, while normal and tangential forces in the contact patches are calculated according to the Hertz and Kalker’s global theory, respectively. The wear model is mainly based on experimental relationships found in literature between the removed material by wear and the energy dissipated by friction at the contact. It starts from the outputs of the dynamical simulations (position of contact points, contact forces, and global creepages) and calculates the pressures inside the contact patches through a local contact model; then, the material removed by wear is evaluated and the worn profiles of wheel and rail are obtained. In order to reproduce the wear evolution, the overall mileage traveled by the vehicle is divided into discrete steps, within which the wheel and rail profiles are constant; after carrying out the dynamical simulations relative to one step, the profiles are updated by means of the wear model. Therefore, the two models work alternately until completing the whole mileage. Moreover, the different time scales characterizing the wheel and rail wear evolutions require the development of a suitable strategy for the profile update; the strategy proposed by the authors is based both on the total distance traveled by the vehicle and on the total tonnage burden on the track. The entire model has been developed and validated in collaboration with Trenitalia S.p.A. and Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), which have provided the technical documentation and the experimental results relating to some tests performed with the vehicle DMU Aln 501 Minuetto on the Aosta-Pre Saint Didier line.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Wear , Vehicles , Rails , Wheels , Railroads
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Figures

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Figure 1

General architecture of the model

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Figure 2

Global view of the multibody model

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Figure 3

Primary suspensions

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Figure 4

Bogie and secondary suspensions

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Figure 6

Global forces acting at wheel and rail interface

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Figure 7

Contact patch discretization

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Figure 8

Trend of the wear rate KW

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Figure 9

Natural abscissa for the wheel and rail profile

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Figure 10

Discretization of the total mileage

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Figure 11

Definition of the wheel wear control parameters

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Figure 12

Definition of rail wear control parameter

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Figure 13

FT dimension progress

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Figure 14

FH dimension progress

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Figure 15

QR dimension progress

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Figure 16

QM dimension progress

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Figure 17

Evolution of the wheel profile on the r0 rail

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Figure 18

Evolution of the wheel profile on the r1 rail

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Figure 19

Evolution of the wheel profile on the r2 rail

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Figure 20

Evolution of the wheel profile on the r3 rail

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Figure 21

Evolution of the wheel profile on the r4 rail

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Figure 22

Evolution of the rail profile

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