Wheel tread damage – identification and effects (CHARMEC TS20)
Research Project , 2018 – 2023

Wheel tread damage leads to wheel–rail contact forces whose magnitudes depend on the type of material, the shape of the geometric irregularity and the dynamic characteristics of the vehicle–track system. High vertical loads due to defects may imply an increased risk of wheel fatigue (and also damage to axles and bearings). To limit the risk of a catastrophic failure of the running gear, there are operational limits on allowed wheel impact loads. Based on field measurements and on results of simulations of vehicle–track dynamic interaction, project TS20 will start by deriving load spectra that result from different types of damage. In a second stage, the dynamic interaction between railway track and wheel will be studied in order to establish stress time histories resulting from the prescribed loads as based on field measurements and simulation studies. Subsequently, models to assess damage of critical components are developed such that fatigue-stress spectra can be obtained for the running gear. The influence of wheel tread irregularities and their lateral position with respect to the running band is taken into account. Eventually, the fatigue damage caused by different tread defects and operational conditions, in particular train speed and track stiffness, will be investigated.

This is a doctoral project. Mr Michele Magio is the doctoral student and Professor Elena Kabo is the project leader and supervisor. Professor Jens Nielsen and Docent Tore Vernersson are assistant supervisors.


Elena Kabo (contact)

Forskningsprofessor at Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Dynamics

Michele Maglio

Doctoral Student at Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Dynamics

Jens Nielsen

Forskningsprofessor at Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Dynamics

Tore V Vernersson

at Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Dynamics


Abetong AB

Växjö, Sweden

Atkins Sverige AB

Stockholm, Sverige

Bombardier Transportation GmbH

Siegen, Germany

Faiveley Transport Nordic AB

Landskrona, Sweden

Green Cargo AB

Solna, Sweden

Lucchini Sweden AB

Surahammar, Sweden


Stockholm, Sweden

Swedish Transport Administration

Borlänge, Sweden

SweMaint AB

Göteborg, Sweden

voestalpine Schienen GmbH

Leoben, Austria

voestalpine VAE GmbH

Zeltweg, Austria


Chalmers Railway Mechanics (CHARMEC)

Funding Chalmers participation during 2018–2023

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


Areas of Advance

More information

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