A Study on the Contact Ellipse and the Contact Pressure During the Wheel Wear through Passing the Tracks including Several Sharp Curves


School of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology


Wheel wear has been a concern in the railway for several decades. Studying the form change of the wheel/rail contacts in particular railways consisting of sharp curves helps to identify the risk of severe or catastrophic wear to minimize maintenance costs in order to be competitive in the transportation business. In this paper, the wheel/rail contact was studied on the particular railways. The experimental measurement of wheel profiles was used as an input to Hertz Contact Theory (HCT). It was found that: 1) for these railways the wheel flange is highly worn; 2) a 5th order polynomial function is appropriate to model the wear behavior of the critical wheel; 3) the minimum and maximum contact ellipse surface areas occur in Sd=22.29 mm and Sd=32 mm, respectively; 4) the maximum and minimum surface areas of the contact ellipse occur at points in which the contact pressure are minimum and maximum, respectively; and finally 5) the flange thickness region between 25 to 29 mm can be chosen as an appropriate range for the wheel maintenance purposes.