Modeling of Wheel-Rail/Crossing Interactions

Martina Wiest

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The present work is concerned with the numerical simulation of the wheel-rail contact by the finite element method. The target of the investigation is the crossing nose of a turnout. A general approach to calculate the stresses and strains in the contact zone at a detailed level is developed. Subsequent analyses of the fatigue behavior are enabled by the use of fine meshes. In the modeling global and local modeling levels are coupled. Complex dynamic interactions in railway turnouts enforce a model capable to handle inertia as well as the detailed geometry of crossings. ABAQUS/Explicit is used to calculate the dynamic response of the system in a global model. It is shown that alternatively the multibody system software GENSYS can be consulted. Different quasi-static and static submodels are developed in ABAQUS/Standard to determine the very local stress state in the contact zone. Combinations of multiple traveling velocities, crossing geometries and materials are simulated. An assessment of several methods for calculating contact pressure in wheel-rail contact reveals their application range. Cyclic calculations demonstrate the behavior of crossings during repeated wheel passages. A damage indicator concept for ductile materials is implemented to indicate the onset of damage.
Translated title of the contributionModellierung von Rad-Schiene/Herzstück Interaktionen
Original languageEnglish
  • Fischer, Franz-Dieter, Assessor A (internal)
  • Pippan, Reinhard, Assessor B (internal)
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

embargoed until null


  • wheel-rail contact crossing numerical modeling finite element method dynamics elastic-plastic material rolling contact cycles damage

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