Thermomechanical analysis of the wheel-rail contact using a coupled modelling procedure

Meysam Naeimi, Shaoguang Li, Zili Li*, Jun Wu, Roumen H. Petrov, Jilt Sietsma, Rolf Dollevoet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


This research presents a coupled thermomechanical modelling procedure for the wheel-rail contact problem and computes the flash-temperature and stress-strain responses when thermal effects are present. A three-dimensional elasto-plastic finite element model was built considering the wheel-track interaction. When the wheel is running on rail, frictional energy is generated and converted into heat. To evaluate the contribution of thermal effects and plasticity, five different material models were studied among them TEPS was nonlinear and temperature-dependent including thermal softening. Discussions were made on the effect of solution type and material type. The rail temperature, calculated for a critical creepage case, confirmed the potential of martensitic phase transformation. Thermal effects were also important at lower creepages, where a synchronization effect causes earlier damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-260
JournalTribology International
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Finite element
  • Temperature
  • Thermal effects
  • Thermomechanical coupling
  • Wheel-rail contact


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