Technical Reports

Measurement of Wheel Load Environment of a Standard 3-piece Truck

  • 29
  • Dec
  • 2017
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-32
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-17/25
SUBJECT: Rolling Stock
KEYWORDS: Rolling contact fatigue, RCF, wheel shelling, shakedown
ABSTRACT: To increase the understanding of the conditions under which wheel rolling contact fatigue (RCF) damage accumulates, wheel load environment data was collected from a car running in revenue service and analyzed to assess the predicted wheel RCF damage using shakedown theory. The car used for the tests had 3-piece trucks. A track inspection team visited critical track locations to record relevant information such as rail RCF, rail profile, curve superelevation, and friction conditions. This study found that track curvature is highly influential in determining wheel and rail RCF damage. Nearly all significant predictions of RCF were recorded on curves of at least 4 degrees. Other important factors include the curve unbalance condition and wheel/rail coefficient of friction. Rail profile and track friction conditions were not found to be major factors in this analysis. Observed rail RCF condition correlated reasonably well with predictions when considering extenuating factors such as rail age and curve unbalance conditions.
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