Effect of Change of Wheel-rail Contact Geometry on Contact Fatigue Stresses

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Addis Ababa University


The general objective of this thesis is to analyze effect of change of wheel and rail profiles on contact fatigue stress using analytic and finite element softwares. The wheel rail contact condition is modeled assuming two general quadratic surfaces. The formulation in this study aims primarily at determination of stresses and fatigue parameters by varying contact geometry arising from variation in profile geometry. A change in surface geometry brings in a change in contact geometry and stresses. The theoretical models are based on the normal problem (Hertz theory) and the tangential problem (Kalker’s theory). Correspondingly, variations in the results in terms of principal stresses and fatigue parameters such as equivalent stresses, fatigue damage, and expected fatigue life with changes in wheel profile radii, wheel taper and rail profile radii are obtained. Comparisons of different profiles are taken place. Better profiles are suggested. Results obtained are expected to help understand the rail wheel configuration dependence on the stress deformation pattern and fatigue parameters. This may help an appropriate selection of wheel and rail profiles in the optimization process.



Contact Fatigue Stresses, Wheel-Rail Contact