Technical Reports

Numerical Determination of Contact Pressures Between Closely Conforming Wheels and Rails

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 1979
AUTHOR: B. Paul, J. Hashemi
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: FRA/ORD-79/41
SUBJECT: Track/Train Interactions
KEYWORDS: Rail Wheel Interaction, Contact Stress, Conformal Contact, elasticity, Non-Hertzian Contact
ABSTRACT: A numerical method is developed for the determination of the contact pressure that arises when two elastic bodies with closely conforming non-Hertzian frictionless surfaces are pressed together. The method is a generalization of that recently developed by the authors for the case of counterformal contact, and includes a technique for automatically generating meshes that overlay the changing (load-dependent) contact patches. The method has been implemented in a computer program called CONFORM, and has been applied to problems of wheel and rail contact. The results have been verified by comparison with those generated by an independent program for the special case of relatively light wheel loading, where the contact is known a-priori to be essentially counter-formal. The results given herein for a relatively heavy (but realistic) wheel loading on the throat of the flange represent the first known solution of the conformal contact between a railroad wheel and rail.

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