Multi-scale Fatigue Damage Life Assessment of Railroad Wheels

This study focused on the presence of a crack in the railway wheel’s subsurface and how it affects the wheel’s fatigue life. A 3-D finite element (FE)-model was constructed to simulate the stress/strain fields that take place under the rolling contact of railway wheels on rails. To achieve computational efficiency and accuracy, a multiscale technique was employed. Different locations of the crack from the wheel surface were considered to detect the influence of a crack/defect on stress distribution of wheel/rail contact, as well as to possibly investigate the crack propagation rate and direction as a function of the crack’s distance to the wheel thread. Moreover, by changing the crack plane angle in each specific increment of loading, it may be possible to observe mixed mode crack growth behavior based on the crack’s orientation with respect to the wheel’s surface. The outcome of this work gives valuable insights into fatigue induced cracking in railroad wheels in order to have a better understanding of the root causes of failures such as both shattered rims and vertical split rims (VSR) as a means of reducing the probability of derailment.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 3p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01668731
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC59
  • Created Date: Apr 6 2018 3:47PM