The increasing demands of high-speed railway transportation aggravate the wheel and rail surface wear. It is of great significance to repair the worn wheel timely by predicting the wheel and rail surface wear, which will improve both the service life of the wheel and rail and the safe operation of the train. The purpose of this study is to propose a new prediction method of wheel tread wear, which can provide some reference for selecting proper re-profiling period of wheel.
The standard and worn wheel profiles were first matched with the standard 60N rail profile, and then the wheel/rail finite element models (FEMs) were established for elastic-plastic contact calculation. A calculation method of the friction work was proposed based on contact analysis. Afterwards, a simplified method for calculating wheel tread wear was presented and the wear with different running mileages was predicted.
The wheel tread wear increased the relative displacement and friction of contact spots. There was obvious fluctuation in the wheel tread friction work curve of the worn model. The wear patterns predicted in the present study were in accordance with the actual situation, especially in the worn model.
In summary, the simplified method based on FEM presented in this paper could effectively calculate wheel tread wear and predict the wear patterns. It would provide valuable clews for the wheel repair work.
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