The objective of the work reported here was to define methods for applying the describing function technique to realistic models of nonlinear rail cars. The describing function method offers a compromise between the accuracy of nonlinear digital simulation and the computational efficiency of linear methods. This work entailed the development of realistic describing function representations for nonlinearities such as the wheel/rail contact interaction and the development of algorithms for using these describing functions to predict the occurrence and stability of hunting and the forced response of rail vehicles to sinusoidal and statistical track irregularities. This report explains the describing function technique, demonstrates how it can be applied to nonlinear rail vehicle dynamics problems, describes algorithms that can be used for such problems, and presents results for typical nonlinear problems, including wheel profile and suspension nonlinearities.

  • Record URL:
  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Prepared for U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Research and Development, Washington, D.C.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Department of Civil Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02139

    Arizona State University, Tempe

    206 South 17th Avenue
    Tempe, AZ  United States  85281

    Clemson University

    Clemson, SC  United States  29634
  • Authors:
    • Hedrick, J Karl
    • Cooperrider, N K
    • Law, E H
  • Publication Date: 1978-11

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 228 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00188677
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Railroad Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FRA/ORD-78/56 Final Rpt., DOT-TSC-FRA-78-6
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-TSC-902
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1979 12:00AM