Design, calibration and validation of a wheel-rail contact force measurement system in V-Track

Pan Zhang, Jan Moraal, Zili Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


An innovative downscale test rig called V-Track has been constructed for wheel-rail contact experiments under impact loading conditions. In this paper, a force measurement system termed a dynamometer was developed in V-Track to measure the wheel-rail contact forces. The dynamometer consists of four 3-component piezoelectric force sensors and was mounted between the wheel assembly and the steel frame of V-Track, enabling it to measure the forces transmitted from the wheel-rail interface to the frame. Static tests were first carried out to calibrate the dynamometer in three directions. Then, several tests were performed in V-Track to examine the reliability and validity of the dynamometer for measuring the wheel-rail contact forces under running conditions. Experimental results show that the dynamometer is capable of reliably and accurately measuring these forces. Utilizing the measurement results from the dynamometer, the control of the wheel-rail contact forces in V-Track has also been achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109105
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalMeasurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Dynamometer
  • Force measurement and control
  • V-Track test rig
  • Wheel-rail contact forces


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