Rolling contact fatigue assessment of repair rail welds
Journal article, 2019

A repair welding procedure is numerically simulated. To validate the numerical model, analyses of the temperature evolution in a repaired rail are compared to existing full-scale test results. Thermomechanical simulations are carried out to evaluate the residual stress formation during welding and how the residual stress field is influenced by subsequent wheel passages during operations. The risk of rolling contact fatigue (RCF) is analysed and results discussed. It is found that tensile stress magnitudes resulting from welding decrease substantially during rolling contact loading. The influence of the residual stresses on RCF is found to be minor on the surface and somewhat more severe in a layer at the bottom of the repair weld. In addition to residual stresses, there is also a risk that welding introduces material defects and alters material properties. The influence of these factors on the risk of RCF is discussed.

FE simulations

Residual stresses

Stress redistribution

Rolling contact fatigue

Rail repair welding

Thermomechanical analysis


Elena Kabo

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Dynamics

Anders Ekberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Dynamics

Michele Maglio

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Dynamics


0043-1648 (ISSN)

Vol. 436-437 203030

Innovative Intelligent Rail (IN2RAIL)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/635900), 2015-05-01 -- 2018-04-30.

Research into enhanced tracks, switches and structures (In2Track)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/730841), 2016-12-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Swedish Transport Administration (TRV2016/50535), 2016-09-01 -- 2019-06-30.

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Applied Mechanics



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