Application of a semianalytical strain assessment and multiaxial fatigue analysis to compare rolling contact fatigue in twin-disk and full-scale wheel/rail contact conditions
Journal article, 2022

A semianalytical model is introduced to assess rolling contact fatigue problems in railway applications. The constitutive law is based on the nonlinear kinematic and isotropic hardening model of Chaboche–Lemaitre, which allows the cyclic elastoplastic strain under the contact surface to be evaluated. The much higher computational effectiveness in comparison with finite element (FE) analyses is quantified. The Dang Van multiaxial fatigue criterion is implemented to evaluate the rolling contact fatigue in the subsurface elastic region where cracking is relatively rare but more dangerous than surface cracks. The influence of the presence of sulfides in the wheel matrix in decreasing fatigue strength is also assessed by means of Murakami's approach. The model is used to compare conditions under small-scale twin-disk experiments to full-scale wheel/rail contact conditions. It is found that, for the same Hertzian pressure, the small-scale contact is more conservative in that it causes a deeper plasticized layer as compared with the elliptical full-scale contact. In the investigated cases, crack initiation is also not expected according to Dang Van criterion in neither of the studied contact conditions.


finite element models (FEM)

multiaxial fatigue

fatigue limit

semianalytical model (SAM)



Nicola Zani

University of Brescia

Magnus Ekh

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Material and Computational Mechanics

Anders Ekberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Dynamics

Angelo Mazzù

University of Brescia

Fatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials and Structures

8756-758X (ISSN) 1460-2695 (eISSN)

Vol. 45 1 222-238

Subject Categories

Applied Mechanics

Other Materials Engineering

Vehicle Engineering



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