Wheel-Rail Interaction: Enhanced explicit finite element modelling, verification and validation

Yuewei Ma

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

122 Downloads (Pure)


Nowadays, wheel-rail (W/R) interfaces are suffering from the practical problems (e.g. wear, rolling contact defects) with the increase of train speed and traffic density. For accurate prediction of wear and/or growth of rolling contact defects, rapid determination of detailed contact responses (i.e. contact stresses & strains) using numerical methods, is necessary. As one of the numerical methods, the explicit finite element (FE) method has been increasingly used due to its striking versatility (i.e., the consideration of dynamic effects, material and geometrical non-linearities). But there are still several FE modelling challenges to be addressed. First, the calculation accuracy & efficiency of the FE method can not be automatically guaranteed. Second, the default values of the interface parameters provided in the commercial FE packages are not always suitable for the modelling of W/R rolling contact. Third, the detailed verification & validation methods/procedures for the FE model of W/R interaction are still in demand. It is thus motivated to perform an in-depth study on the performance (i.e. accuracy and efficiency) of the explicit FE method applied to the analysis of the dynamic W/R frictional rolling contact behaviour. Through this study, it is aimed to enrich the detailed knowledge of W/R interaction, and help the researchers in the field of railway engineering to judge the benefits and drawbacks of explicit FE simulations. The dissertation is divided into four parts, in which four research problems are addressed...
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Dollevoet, R.P.B.J., Supervisor
  • Markine, V.L., Advisor
Award date19 Dec 2018
Print ISBNs978-94-6323-453-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Wheel-rail interaction
  • Finite element modelling
  • Verification
  • Experimental validation


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