Research Papers

Wheel–Rail Impact at Crossings: Relating Dynamic Frictional Contact to Degradation

[+] Author and Article Information
Zilong Wei

Section of Railway Engineering,
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences,
Delft University of Technology,
Stevinweg 1,
Delft 2628 CN, The Netherlands
e-mail: Z.Wei@tudelft.nl

Chen Shen

Section of Railway Engineering,
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences,
Delft University of Technology,
Stevinweg 1,
Delft 2628 CN, The Netherlands
e-mail: C.Shen-2@tudelft.nl

Zili Li

Section of Railway Engineering,
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences,
Delft University of Technology,
Stevinweg 1,
Delft 2628 CN, The Netherlands
e-mail: Z.Li@tudelft.nl

Rolf Dollevoet

Section of Railway Engineering,
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences,
Delft University of Technology,
Stevinweg 1,
Delft 2628 CN, The Netherlands
e-mail: R.P.B.J.Dollevoet@tudelft.nl

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL AND NONLINEAR DYNAMICS. Manuscript received February 18, 2016; final manuscript received January 19, 2017; published online February 8, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Jozsef Kovecses.

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 12(4), 041016 (Feb 08, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: CND-16-1082; doi: 10.1115/1.4035823 History: Received February 18, 2016; Revised January 19, 2017

Irregularities in the geometry and flexibility of railway crossings cause large impact forces, leading to rapid degradation of crossings. Precise stress and strain analysis is essential for understanding the behavior of dynamic frictional contact and the related failures at crossings. In this research, the wear and plastic deformation because of wheel–rail impact at railway crossings was investigated using the finite-element (FE) method. The simulated dynamic response was verified through comparisons with in situ axle box acceleration (ABA) measurements. Our focus was on the contact solution, taking account not only of the dynamic contact force but also the adhesion–slip regions, shear traction, and microslip. The contact solution was then used to calculate the plastic deformation and frictional work. The results suggest that the normal and tangential contact forces on the wing rail and crossing nose are out-of-sync during the impact, and that the maximum values of both the plastic deformation and frictional work at the crossing nose occur during two-point contact stage rather than, as widely believed, at the moment of maximum normal contact force. These findings could contribute to the analysis of nonproportional loading in the materials and lead to a deeper understanding of the damage mechanisms. The model provides a tool for both damage analysis and structure optimization of crossings.

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Fig. 1

Degradation of the crossing nose: (a) cracks and plastic flow. The ruler at the bottom of the figure indicates the distance to the tip of crossing nose and (b) degradation because of cumulative plastic deformation and wear. The lower plot compares the nominal and measured longitudinal–vertical profile. The two crossings are of identical types.

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Fig. 2

The FE model of a right-hand crossing panel

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Fig. 3

Schematic diagram of wheel–rail interaction with the close-ups of mesh

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Fig. 4

Coordinate transformation

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Fig. 5

Time history of ABA: (a) measured signal from a global view and (b) comparison of ABA signals at the impact

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Fig. 6

Wavelet analysis of the ABA signals: (a) wavelet power spectrum of measured and simulated ABA. The rectangles indicate the major frequency contents, and the main difference between measurements. The impact happens at approximately 0.25 m from the tip of the crossing nose. (b) Global wavelet power spectra of measured and simulated ABA. The major frequency characteristics are around 35, 90, and 250 Hz.

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Fig. 7

Time history of normal contact force in facing-through motion. The starting point (0 ms) is at 700 mm ahead of the nose tip.

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Fig. 8

Contact status during the transition with the center of the contact patch shown as

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Fig. 9

Distribution of adhesion–slip regions

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Fig. 10

Field of surface shear traction on the wheel

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Fig. 11

(a) Time series of contact forces during the transition and (b) trajectory and contact angle of the center of the contact patch

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Fig. 12

Distribution of surface shear traction along local longitudinal axis

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Fig. 13

Field of microslip on the wheel

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Fig. 14

Plastic deformation of the crossing nose: (a) maximum von Mises stress along the longitudinal direction and (b) trajectories for () the maximum von Mises stress and () the center of the contact patch

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Fig. 15

Maximum frictional work of the crossing nose: (a) along the longitudinal direction and (b) trajectories for () the maximum frictional work and () the center of the contact patch



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