Numerical procedure for fatigue life prediction for railway turnout crossings using explicit finite element approach

L. Xin*, V. L. Markine, I. Y. Shevtsov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper a numerical procedure for analysis of rolling contact fatigue crack initiation and fatigue life prediction for the railway turnout crossing is presented. To analyse wheel–rail interaction, a three-dimensional explicit finite element (FE) model of a wheelset passing a turnout crossing is developed to obtain the dynamic responses such as the contact forces, displacements and accelerations as well as the stresses and strain in the crossing nose. The material model accounting for elastic–plastic isotropic and kinematic hardening effects in rails is adopted. The fatigue life of the rails is defined as the time to rolling contact fatigue crack initiation. In predicting the fatigue life Jiang and Sehitoglu model is used, which is based on the critical plane approach. Using the FE simulation results the ten critical locations on the crossing nose susceptible to crack initiation are determined first. Then, using the fatigue model the critical planes in these locations are obtained and the number of cycles to fatigue crack initiation is calculated for each location, based on which the most decisive location and the crossing life is determined. The results of the numerical simulations are presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-179
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016
Event10th international conference on contact mechanics and wear of rail/wheel systems - Colorado Springs, United States
Duration: 30 Aug 20153 Sep 2015
Conference number: 10


  • Crack initiation
  • Life prediction
  • Rolling contact fatigue
  • Turnout crossing


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