Numerical evaluation of the material response of a railway wheel under thermomechanical braking conditions
Paper in proceedings, 2012
The material response of a railway wheel subjected to thermomechanical rolling contact is evaluated. Thermal and mechanical loads are combined in a three-dimensional sequentially coupled analysis where nodal temper- atures from a transient thermal analysis are applied as predefined fields in a structural analysis featuring an elastic-plastic material model. The mechanical contact load is prescribed as a moving Hertzian contact stress distribution with a surface shear stress distribution corresponding to full or partial slip conditions. Modelling aspects studied in detail are feasible model resolution at the contact patch, the influence of sequences of thermal and mechanical loads, and the influence of wheel–rail interfacial shear distributions. The study identifies fea- sible mesh sizes and load application strategies to obtain a good accuracy at reasonable computational efforts. Further, differences in predicted material response under full slip and partial slip conditions are assessed. It is found that for a given total tangential force, partial slip conditions result in larger plastic strain magnitudes in a thin layer near the contact surface.