Transition radiation in an infinite one-dimensional structure interacting with a moving oscillator—the Green's function method

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Transition zones in railway tracks are areas with considerable variation of track properties (e.g., foundation stiffness) which may cause strong amplification of the response, leading to rapid degradation of the track geometry. Two possible indicators of degradation in the supporting structure are identified, namely the wheel-rail contact force and the power/energy input by the vehicle. This paper analyses the influence of accounting for the interaction between the vehicle and the supporting structure on the contact force and on the power/energy input. To this end, a one-dimensional model is formulated, consisting of an infinite Euler-Bernoulli beam resting on a locally inhomogeneous Kelvin foundation, interacting with a moving loaded oscillator that has a nonlinear Hertzian spring. The solution is obtained using the Green's-function method. To obtain the Green's function of the inhomogeneous and infinite beam-foundation sub-system, the finite difference method is used for the spatial discretization and non-reflective boundary conditions are applied. Accounting for the interaction between the moving oscillator and the supporting structure generally leads to stronger wave radiation, caused by the variation of the vertical momentum of the moving mass. Results show that for relatively high velocity and small transition length, the maximum contact force as well as the energy input exhibit a significant increase compared to the moving constant load case. Furthermore, for relatively high velocities, the maximum contact force also increases significantly with increasing stiffness dissimilarity, findings which supplement the existing literature. Finally, the two degradation indicators can be used in the preliminary stages of design to assess the performance of railway track transition zones.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115804
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Green's function method
  • Infinite system
  • Inhomogeneous system
  • Moving oscillator
  • Non-reflective boundaries
  • Transition radiation

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