Simulation of rail roughness growth on small radius curves using a non-Hertzian and non-steady wheel–rail contact model
Journal article, 2014

A time-domain model for the prediction of long-term growth of rail roughness (corrugation) on small radius curves is presented. Both low-frequency vehicle dynamics due to curving and high-frequency vehicle–track dynamics excited by short-wavelength rail irregularities are accounted for. The influence of non-Hertzian and non-steady effects in the wheel–rail contact model on rail wear is studied. The model features a contact detection method that accounts for wheelset yaw angle as well as surface irregularities and structural flexibilities of wheelset and rail. The development of corrugation on a small radius curve is found to be highly influenced by the wheel–rail friction coefficient. For vehicle speed 25 km/h and friction coefficient 0.3, predictions of long-term roughness growth on the low rail show decreasing magnitudes in the entire studied wavelength interval. For friction coefficient 0.6, roughness growth is found at several wavelengths. The corresponding calculation for the high rail contact of the trailing wheelset indicates no roughness growth independent of friction coefficient. The importance of accounting for the phase between the calculated wear and the present rail irregularity is demonstrated.

Non-Hertzian and non-steady wheel-rail contact

Rail corrugation

Simulation of dynamic vehicle-track interaction

Railway curves


Peter T Torstensson


Astrid Pieringer

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Applied Acoustics, Vibroacoustics

Jens Nielsen



0043-1648 (ISSN)

Vol. 314 1-2 241-253

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories


Applied Mechanics

Areas of Advance




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