Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Turnouts (Switches & Crossings) are important components in railway networks,
as they provide the necessary flexibility for train operations by allowing trains to
change among the tracks. But the turnout’s geometry with discontinuity in rail
profiles and lack of transition curve causes additional wear both on track and on
The main goal of this MSc thesis is to investigate the influence of turnouts on wheel
wear of a freight vehicle. This will be obtained by simulations in the commercial
MBS software GENSYS. The wheel-rail contact is modelled according to Hertz’s
theory and Kalker’s simplified theory, with the FASTSIM algorithm, and the wear
calculations are performed according to Archard’s law.
Wheel wear is estimated by considering variations in parameters which have effect
on wheel-rail contact. All these variations are common in daily rail operation, and
they are caused by it,
i.e. worn wheel profiles, worn crossing nose and different
stiffness of the stock and the switch rails at the beginning of the turnout. Moreover,
the wheel wear is calculated for both possible directions which a vehicle can run,
the diverging and the straight direction of the turnout. Especially for the straight
direction, various running speeds have been tested as the speed limit when the
vehicle follows the straight direction is higher than for the diverging part.
Running with worn wheel profiles has the greatest impact in terms of increasing the
wheel wear, especially on the outer part of wheel tread. In addition, the worn crossing
nose results in increased wheel wear in this area. The results of the simulations
concerning the different stiffness showed that the wheel wear caused by the contact
of wheel and stock rail increases whereas the wear caused by the contact with the
switch rail is kept at about the same level or decreases. It is concluded that turnouts
have a significant impact on wheel wear, mainly because of the discontinuity in rail
geometry and all the investigated parameters increase this impact. Moreover, great
differences in wear values for areas close to each other are observed, mainly because
of the wear coefficient values chosen in Archard’s wear map.
2013. , 64 p.
dynamic vehicle-track interaction, turnout, switch & crossing, wheel wear, wheel-rail contact geometry
2013-09-03, Vehicle Engineering Laboratory (VEL), Teknikringen 8, ground floor., Stockholm, 15:18 (English)