A fast time-domain model for wheel/rail interaction demonstrated for the case of impact forces caused by wheel flats
Paper i proceeding, 2008

The prediction of impact forces caused by wheel flats requires the application of time-domain models that are generally more computationally demanding than are frequency-domain models. In this paper, a fast time-domain model is presented to simulate the dynamic interaction between wheel and rail, taking into account the non-linear processes in the contact zone. Track and wheel are described as linear systems using impulse-response functions that can be precalculated. The contact zone is modelled by non-linear contact springs, allowing for loss of contact. This general model enables the calculation of the vertical contact forces generated by the small-scale roughness of rail and wheel, by parametric excitation on a discretely supported rail and by discrete irregularities of rail and wheel. Here, the model is applied to study the excitation caused by wheel flats by introducing a flat on a rotating wheel whose profile in the contact zone is updated in every time step. To demonstrate the functioning of the model, simulation results are compared to field measurements of impact forces and a brief parameter study is presented.

wheel flat

time domain

wheel/rail interaction

contact model


Astrid Pieringer


Wolfgang Kropp


7th European Conference on Noise Control 2008, EURONOISE 2008; Paris; France; 29 June 2008 through 4 July 2008

2226-5147 (ISSN)



Annan materialteknik

Strömningsmekanik och akustik