Xie, G. and Iwnicki, S. (2008) Simulations of roughness growth on rails – results from a 2D non-Hertzian, non-steady contact model. Vehicle System Dynamics, 46 (1-2). pp. 117-128. ISSN 0042-3114

A new model for simulating rail roughness growth on tangent track is presented in this paper. The model consists of three relatively independent components: (1) a time-domain vehicle/track interaction model; (2) a 2D non-Hertzian and non-steady wheel/rail contact model; and (3) a wear model. Wheel/rail contact forces for a given initial roughness obtained from the vehicle/track interaction model are used by the contact model to calculate the contact patch size, normal pressure and tangential stresses with material removal assumed to be linearly proportional to the friction work in the contact patch. The roughness profile is updated and fed back into vehicle/track interaction model. The 2D contact model is initially compared with a 3D model for various wavelength of initial sinusoidal roughness. Long term roughness growth is then simulated with the 2D contact model. Simulation shows that all initial sinusoidal roughness of wavelengths between 20–100 mm are levelled out. The wavelength-fixing mechanism, that has previously been used to explain the cause of corrugation, is not found in the present investigations.

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