Influence of wheel polygonal wear on wheel-rail dynamic contact in a heavy-haul locomotive under traction conditions

Hongqin Liang, Pengfei Liu, Tianlong Wang, Haoyu Wang, Kailong Zhang, Yunqiang Cao, Dong An

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For a heavy-haul locomotive within a wheel repairing period, wheel polygonal wear with different operating mileages is obtained by field testing. The test results show that the maximum radial runout of the wheel can increase to 0.87 mm and accompany with the typical damage of wheel tread shelling. Taking the wheel polygons as input excitation, the locomotive-track coupled dynamic model is established, which is verified by the comparisons of test and calculated wheelset vertical acceleration in time and frequency domains. The variable wheel-rail friction coefficient is introduced so as to consider the dry and wet rail conditions. The wheel-rail dynamic contact characteristics under the traction and dry-wet rail surface conditions are analysed simultaneously. It is found that the wheel polygon deteriorates the locomotive traction performance and induces the obvious wheel-rail slipping with large tangential stress, especially in wet rail condition. In dry condition, the wheel-rail could contact generally in the adhesion state. But the longitudinal creep forces fluctuate locally with some larger amplitudes closed to the adhesion force, which is mainly attributed to the excitation of serious wheel polygon. Comparing with the results of the newly repaired wheel, the maximum wheel-rail vertical force, longitudinal force, normal stress and tangential stress at the end of wheel repairing period can increase by 55 kN, 28 kN, 240 MPa and 470 MPa in sequence. The wheel-rail slipping and high-stress state in traction condition should be the dominant factors contributing to the wheel damage of tread shelling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-415
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Volume235 (2021)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Heavy-haul locomotive
  • traction
  • wheel polygon
  • wheel-rail contact


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