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Home List of Titles Rail rolling contact fatigue dependence on friction, predicted using fracture mechanics with a three-dimensional boundary element model
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/51990
- Rail rolling contact fatigue dependence on friction, predicted using fracture mechanics with a three-dimensional boundary element model
- Fletcher, D. I.; Smith, L.; Kapoor, A.
- Rolling contact fatigue crack growth continues to affect many railways worldwide. It is most often controlled through rail grinding in a preventive maintenance strategy, but to plan the required frequency and depth of grinding, prediction of crack growth rates has a vital role. This paper presents crack growth rate results from a new three-dimensional rail model containing an inclined surface breaking rolling contact fatigue crack. The calculations are based on a shear mode of crack growth, driven by the Hertzian contact pressure on the railhead and moderated by friction between the crack faces ("crack face friction"). The results from the model show good correlation with those from the previously published work in the area, with particularly good agreement at higher levels of surface friction coefficient. Applying the new model to a range of surface and crack face friction coefficients predicted that crack growth rate will rise with reduced internal crack face friction at all crack sizes. For small cracks (2 and 5 mm radius) rates were predicted to rise with increased surface traction, but this trend was reversed at larger crack sizes (10 and 19 mm radius). Identical trends were found when the modelling was repeated using the previously developed half-space based "2.5d" model, indicating that although this older model cannot represent the rail geometry its high speed means it remains a useful tool for investigating the effects of contact parameters on rail rolling contact fatigue. The next study in this area could therefore consider if there is a uniform or crack size related ratio for mapping 2.5d results to three-dimensional rail geometry to produce closer agreement in crack growth rates as well as trends. For the three-dimensional model, consideration of alternative crack morphologies and movement of the contact running band away from the rail centreline would provide additional data on the effect of rail grinding and re-profiling on rolling contact fatigue.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences
- Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Vol. 76, no. 17 (Nov 2009), pp. 2612-2625
- Publication year
- Boundary element; Fatigue; Friction; Rail; Wheel
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Peer reviewed