Elasto-Plastic Finite Element Analysis of Repeated Three-Dimensional, Elliptical Rolling Contact With Rail Wheel Properties

[+] Author and Article Information
S. M. Kulkarni, G. T. Hahn, C. A. Rubin, V. Bhargava

Center for Materials Tribology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 37235

J. Tribol 113(3), 434-441 (Jul 01, 1991) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2920643 History: Received January 03, 1990; Revised October 16, 1990; Online June 05, 2008


This paper presents an elasto-plastic analysis of the repeated, frictionless, three-dimensional rolling contact similar to the ones produced by the rail-wheel geometry. This paper treats an elliptical contact rolling across a semi-infinite half space. The contact shape and loading: semi-major axis (in the rolling direction), w1 = 8 mm, and semi-minor axis, w2 = 5.88 mm, reflect standard rail and wheel curvatures and a wheel load of 149 KN (33,000 lb). A three-dimensional, elasto-plastic finite element model, developed earlier, is employed together with the elastic-linear-kinematic-hardening-plastic (ELKP) idealization of the cyclic plastic behaviour of a material similar to rail and wheel steels. The calculations present the displacements, the stress-strain distributions, stress-plastic strain histories and the plastic strain ranges in the half-space. The cyclic plasticity approaches a steady state after one contact with further contacts producing open but fully reversed stress-strain hysteresis loops, i.e., plastic shakedown.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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