Modelling of thermomechanically loaded rail and wheel steels
Research Project, 2013 – 2019

Rail and wheel materials are subjected to very high stresses and, in some cases, also to elevated temperatures. The rolling contact loading results in a multiaxial stress state with a combination of compression and shear. The temperature may increase due to frictional heat generated between wheel and rail or generated between wheel and brake blocks at tread braking. This further increases the complexity of the loading situation. Also additional material responses and deterioration phenomena may come into play. The main goal of project MU32 is to improve modelling of the cyclic behaviour of wheel and rail materials subjected to mechanical and thermal loadings. The project will be conducted in close collaboration with project MU28. In MU28 tests will be performed on pearlitic steels at elevated (and possibly varying) temperatures for uniaxial as well as compression–torsional loading. The resulting knowledge on how the material behaves in realistic loading situations can be used in the current project to formulate, calibrate and validate material models. The project will also interact with project SD10 where simulations of the contact between brake block and wheel including temperature elevation will be studied.


Ali Esmaeili (contact)

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Material and Computational Mechanics

Johan Ahlström

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials

Magnus Ekh

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Material and Computational Mechanics

Tore V Vernersson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Dynamics


Abetong AB

Växjö, Sweden

Bombardier Transportation

Berlin, Germany

Faiveley Transport Nordic AB

Landskrona, Sweden

Green Cargo AB

Solna, Sweden

Lucchini RS

Brescia, Italy


Stockholm, Sweden

SNC Lavalin

Montréal, Canada

Swedish Transport Administration

Borlänge, Sweden

SweMaint AB

Göteborg, Sweden

voestalpine Schienen GmbH

Leoben, Austria

voestalpine VAE GmbH

Zeltweg, Austria


European Commission (EC)

Funding Chalmers participation during 2013–2019

Chalmers Railway Mechanics (CHARMEC)

Project ID: MU32
Funding Chalmers participation during 2013–2019

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


Areas of Advance

C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)


Materials Science

Areas of Advance

More information

Latest update