Influence of the Wheel and Rail Interpolation Scheme on the Contact Evaluation in Railway Dynamics

Joao Pombo, J. Ambrósio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The dynamic behavior of the railway vehicles is strongly influenced by the complex interaction between the wheels and rails. In conventional rail vehicles the wheelsets are assembled with two wheels that are not free to rotate independently. Hence, their treads are profiled in order to allow them to negotiate curves without slipping. The dynamics of guidance depends on the wheel-rail contact forces resultant from the vehicle interaction with the track. In this work a methodology for the accurate geometric description of track models is proposed in the framework of multibody dynamics. It includes the representation of the track spatial geometry and its irregularities. The wheel and rail surfaces are parameterized with a formulation that allows using any wheel and rail profiles obtained from direct measurements or design requirements. A methodology is proposed to find online the coordinates of the contact points between wheel and rail surfaces, even for the most general three dimensional motion of the wheelset. A formulation for the description of the normal contact forces, which result from the wheel-rail interaction, is also presented. The tangential creep forces in the wheel-rail contact area are evaluated using: Kalker linear theory; Heuristic force method; Polach formulation. All methodologies proposed here are implemented in a general multibody code. The advantages and drawbacks of the computational tool are discussed with emphasis on the influence of the interpolation scheme used to parameterize the wheel and rail profiles. The discussion is supported through the dynamic analysis of the wheelset of the railway vehicle ML95 on a straight track.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. of the ASME Int. Des. Eng. Tech. Conf. and Comput. and Information in Engineering Conferences - DETC2005
Subtitle of host publication5th International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control
Number of pages12
Volume6 C
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


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