Growth of rolling contact fatigue cracks (CHARMEC MU38)

Fatigue crack growth, and especially rolling contact fatigue (RCF) crack growth, is the major deterioration factor and one of the foremost cost drivers in railway operations. Therefore extensive research and development efforts have been put into combating and predicting RCF. How different operational factors affect RCF initiation is yet to a large extent known. Also quantification of the magnitude of the influence of different parameters is insufficient. The overall risk of RCF initiation can to a large extent be predicted but predictions of the time to initiation and failure is, however, afflicted with large uncertainties. In particular, there are large uncertainties in the prediction of crack growth in terms of direction of the growth and the rate of propagation. 

The aim of the present project MU38 is to investigate and develop methods to predict crack progression in railway wheels and rails. This includes detailed analyses as well as coarser engineering approaches. Here results from detailed (finite element) analyses can be compared to coarser engineering predictions and increase their quantitative capabilities. Operational data from wheel damage progression and from track demonstrators in Shift2Rail will be employed to further enhance/calibrate/validate numerical analyses.

This is a doctoral project. Mr Mohammad Salahi Nezhad is the doctoral student and Professor Fredrik Larsson the project leader and supervisor. Professors Elena Kabo and Anders Ekberg are assistant supervisors.

Partner organizations

  • voestalpine VAE GmbH (Private, Austria)
  • voestalpine Schienen GmbH (Private, Austria)
  • Green Cargo AB (Public, Sweden)
  • Bombardier Transportation GmbH (Private, Germany)
  • Faiveley Transport (Private, Sweden)
  • Swedish Transport Administration (Public, Sweden)
  • Abetong AB (Private, Sweden)
  • SweMaint AB (Private, Sweden)
  • SJ AB (Public, Sweden)
  • Lucchini Sweden AB (Private, Sweden)
  • Atkins Sverige AB (Private, Sverige)
Start date 01/09/2019
End date 31/08/2024

Published: Tue 28 Apr 2020.