Development and validation of a wheel wear and rolling contact fatigue damage model

Adam Bevan, Paul Molyneux-Berry, Bridget Eickhoff, Mark Burstow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


This paper summaries the development of a damage model to predict the deterioration rates of the wheel tread in terms of wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF) damage. The model uses a description of a fleet's route diagram to characterise the duty cycle of the vehicle in terms of curve radius, cant deficiency and traction/braking performance. Using this duty cycle a large number of vehicle dynamics simulations are automatically conducted to calculate wheel-rail contact forces and predict the formation of wear and RCF damage, using a combination of the Archard and frictional energy-based (Tγ) damage models.The damage models have been validated using observation data (wear rates and maximum observed RCF damage) acquired from a range of vehicle fleets in Great Britain (GB). Results from the validation of the model are presented along with a review of the wheel turning and observation data.A piece-wise linear regression is fitted to the wear and RCF parameters predicted from the model to determine the damage rates for each wheelset type on the vehicle. These damage rates are used within the recently developed Wheelset Management Model (WMM) to describe how the attributes of the wheel (i.e. wheel diameter, profile shape and tread damage) deteriorate over time and trigger a maintenance or renewal activity when the condition of the wheel matches a particular limiting value.This work formed part of the rail industry research programme managed by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), and funded by the Department for Transport, to increase the rolling stock functionality of the Vehicle Track Interaction Strategic Model (VTISM) tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-111
Number of pages12
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2013


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