Temperatures at railway tread braking. Part 1: modelling
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2007

A thermal model of railway tread braking is developed for use in routine calculations of wheel and brake block temperatures. Two-dimensional finite-element models of block(s) and wheel are coupled via a contact interface that controls the heat generation and also the heat partitioning between block and wheel through thermal contact resistances. The surface temperature variations around the wheel circumference as caused by frictional heating and intermediate cooling are accounted for in a mean sense, assuming high-speed sliding conditions. The thermal power generated at the block-wheel interface during braking is determined from train braking data. A model for heat transfer from the rolling wheel into the rail is developed where a film with thermal contact resistance is placed at the wheel-rail contact interface. The present model can be used to efficiently design tread braking systems for both freight and passenger trains. It can handle stop braking, drag braking at constant brake power, and also intermediate periods of cooling. The temperature history during a full train route can be calculated. The inclusion of heat transfer from wheel to rail means that the model is useful for comparing brake rig tests, where normally the chilling influence from the rail is not included, with in-field tests. Two companion papers with experimental results supplement the present numerical modelling. A brief numerical example demonstrates the heat partitioning and the influence of rail chill (about 30 per cent) for two braking configurations.


rail chill

heat partitioning

finite-element analysis

railway wheel

brake blocks

frictional heating


Tore V Vernersson

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik, Dynamik

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

Vol. 221 167-182