Integrated analysis of dynamic vehicle-track interaction and plasticity induced damage in the presence of squat defects
Paper in proceedings, 2015
Despite significant efforts, the mechanisms behind the formation of squats – a form of rolling contact fatigue damage – are not fully understood. This study employs numerical simulations to investigate the propensity of squat initiation in the vicinity of small, isolated rail surface irregularities. Time domain dynamic vehicle–track interaction analysis is used to obtain wheel–rail contact stress distributions, which are mapped onto a continuum finite element model that accounts for plastic deformation of the rail material. The evaluated stress and strain fields are quantified using two RCF impact measures: accumulated effective strain and the Jiang-Sehitoglu multiaxial low cycle fatigue parameter. It is shown that the RCF impact increases with increasing size of the surface irregularity and that clustering of irregularities might strongly promote RCF. The friction coefficient is identified as a very influential parameter. Further, the effect of variations in friction along the rail is evaluated. It is shown that a short rail section of low friction results in fairly high RCF impact.