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

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17 Citations (Scopus)


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


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

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