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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Advanced Modeling of Wheel-Rail Friction Phenomena

Document Series
Technical Reports
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
Subject Track
wheel-rail contact, creep force, friction, interfacial layer, simulation

From 2017–2019, the Federal Railroad Administration sponsored VORtech and its project partners to develop advanced physics-based modeling of wheel-rail friction. Sub-models were established for the elastic and plastic shearing of third body layers, heating of the contacting surfaces, and effects of these phenomena on the coefficient of friction. The effects of surface roughness and fluids were also considered but were not implemented in the resulting model. The new sub-models were implemented in the 2019 version of the Extended CONTACT software. Measurements from the full-size wheel, bearing and brake test facility from the National Research Council of Canada were evaluated but could not be applied for the evaluation of detailed creep force models. Finally, the resulting version of CONTACT was implemented in four leading simulation codes for vehicle-track interaction, as a prototype (NUCARS, SIMPACK) and in a complete implementation (GENSYS, Universal Mechanism).

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Last updated: Friday, May 17, 2024