Wheel tread profile evolution for combined block braking and wheel–rail contact: Results from dynamometer experiments
Journal article, 2016

Wheel treads are subject to different types of damage such as wear, rolling contact fatigue (RCF), thermal cracks, plastic deformation and flats caused by wheel sliding. These types of damage cause changes in the tread profile of the wheel, which necessitates frequent wheel reprofiling in order to maintain the ride comfort of the vehicle. In this study, a series of full-scale tread braking experiments, including wheel–rail rolling contact, were conducted to clarify the factors influencing the wheel tread profile evolution. The experiments focused on plastic deformation and the wear caused by the rolling contact and tread braking. The results showed that the maximum tread indentation was 0.20 mm at the rolling contact center when the stop braking action was repeated 40 times. This was caused by the plastic deformation of the wheel tread, which, in turn, was the result of high contact pressure and material softening from high temperatures caused by tread braking. The results were supported by the observed tread protrusions near the rolling contact area and also by the difference in the rolling contact area hardness and that of the other wheel tread areas.

Wheel tread wearing

Rolling contact

Brake block



K. Ikeuchi

Railway Technical Research Institute

K. Handa

Railway Technical Research Institute

Roger Lundén


Tore V Vernersson



0043-1648 (ISSN)

Vol. 366-367 SI 310-315

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering



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