Wheel/rail rolling contact fatigue – Probe, predict, prevent
Journal article, 2014

With the aim of putting prediction and prevention of rolling contact fatigue of wheels and rails in context, the paper sets out with a description of the phenomena. This is followed by a discussion on predictive models with emphasis on influencing factors needed to be accounted for and how these can be incorporated in a predictive model of surface and subsurface initiated rolling contact fatigue (RCF). The focus is on predictive models fast enough to be integrated with multibody dynamic simulations of train–track interaction. In particular an attempt is made to highlight how current predictive models of surface initiated RCF can be extended to incorporate all affecting phenomena. The discussion on influencing factors then forms the basis for a discussion on suitable and efficient measures to maintain RCF under control. Finally the paper provides a brief summary on similarities and differences between wheel and rail damage, and an outlook of expected future trends in terms of expected damage patterns and possibilities to meet these.

Rolling contact fatigue

Numerical modelling

Deterioration mechanisms

Rail–wheel tribology


Anders Ekberg


Bengt Åkesson


Elena Kabo

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Material and Computational Mechanics


0043-1648 (ISSN)

Vol. 314 1-2 2-12

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories


Applied Mechanics

Vehicle Engineering

Areas of Advance


Materials Science



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