Identification of wheel–rail contact forces based on strain measurements, an inverse scheme and a finite-element model of the wheel
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2014

The wheel–rail contact force is an essential parameter in many aspects in railway mechanics, for instance, in rolling contact fatigue analysis. Since the wheel–rail contact force cannot be measured directly, instrumented wheelsets have been developed to collect the radial strains at certain positions on the wheel web. In this paper, an inverse method to estimate the wheel–rail contact force history based on strain measurements is discussed. In the proposed method, the contact force is determined by minimizing the least-squares discrepancy between measured radial strains and corresponding computed strains from a three-dimensional finite-element model of the wheel. The inverse method is compared with the existing method based on direct extraction of the contact force from combinations of measured strains using Wheatstone bridges. Using synthetic data, it is found that the proposed inverse method is insensitive to the eigenmodes of the wheel, as opposed to the existing method. In addition, noise reduction by using Tikhonov regularization and by choosing proper sampling rates are discussed.

fatigue analysis


Inverse problems

structural mechanics

railway technology

strain measurement


Hamed Ronasi

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Material- och beräkningsmekanik

Håkan Johansson


Fredrik Larsson

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Material- och beräkningsmekanik

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit

0954-4097 (ISSN) 20413017 (eISSN)

Vol. 228 4 343-354




Teknisk mekanik


Grundläggande vetenskaper



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