An alternative to FASTSIM for tangential solution of the wheel–rail contact

Matin Sh. Sichani, Roger Enblom, Mats Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


In most rail vehicle dynamics simulation packages, tangential solution of the wheel–rail contact is gained by means of Kalker’s FASTSIM algorithm. While 5–25% error is expected for creep force estimation, the errors of shear stress distribution, needed for wheel–rail damage analysis, may rise above 30% due to the parabolic traction bound. Therefore, a novel algorithm named FaStrip is proposed as an alternative to FASTSIM. It is based on the strip theory which extends the two-dimensional rolling contact solution to three-dimensional contacts. To form FaStrip, the original strip theory is amended to obtain accurate estimations for any contact ellipse size and it is combined by a numerical algorithm to handle spin. The comparison between the two algorithms shows that using FaStrip improves the accuracy of the estimated shear stress distribution and the creep force estimation in all studied cases. In combined lateral creepage and spin cases, for instance, the error in force estimation reduces from 18% to less than 2%. The estimation of the slip velocities in the slip zone, needed for wear analysis, is also studied. Since FaStrip is as fast as FASTSIM, it can be an alternative for tangential solution of the wheel–rail contact in simulation packages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-764
Number of pages17
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Issue number6
Early online date7 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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