A simple finite element for nonlinear wheel/rail contact and separation simulations

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12 Citations (Scopus)


To simulate the contact and separation of wheels and rails accurately, the stiffness between them should be correct. This paper developed a nonlinear moving wheel element based on a simple point contact scheme to simulate moving train problems, where the element stiffness is set to a power function directly fitted from the finite-element result of the wheel and rail contact analysis. The finite-element result of the wheel/rail contact analysis indicates that the changes in vertical stiffness with changing contact forces can be accurately fitted by using the proposed power function, and the horizontal stiffness can be simply regressed using a constant. The validated example in this paper shows that the nonlinear moving wheel element can simulate the complicated contact and separation problem correctly, both in the displacement and contact force fields, and the major advantage is that a fine mesh is not necessary in the moving train contact analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-338
Number of pages9
JournalJVC/Journal of Vibration and Control
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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