Critical velocities of a harmonic load moving uniformly along an elastic layer

H. A. Dieterman, A. Metrikine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The critical (resonance) velocities of a harmonically varying point load moving uniformly along an elastic layer are determined as a function of the load frequency. It is shown that resonance occurs when the velocity of the load is equal to the group velocity of the waves generated by the load. The critical depths of the layer are determined as function of the load velocity in the case the load frequency is proportional to the load velocity. This is of importance for high-speed trains where the loading frequency of the train wheel excitations is mainly determined by the ratio between the train velocity and the distance between the sleepers (ties). It is shown that the critical depths are decreasing with increasing train velocity. It is concluded that the higher the train velocity, the more important are the properties of the ballast and the border between the ballast and the substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-600
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Mechanics, Transactions ASME
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Critical velocities of a harmonic load moving uniformly along an elastic layer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this