Simulation of rolling contact fatigue crack growth in rails

Rolling contact fatigue (RCF) cracks form on the surface of the rails due to compressive and frictional stresses induced on the rail at the wheel/rail contact patch. After a stage of low-angled growth, the cracks may propagate a) upwards, causing spalling of the rail material, b) downwards, causing complete local failure of the rail, c) along the initial low-angled plane of growth. The project aims in the development of criteria for capturing the direction and rate of crack propagation  in a general non-linear growth setting. The developed criteria along with already existing criteria from the literature are evaluated against known crack paths and rates from mixed-mode crack growth experiments. Criteria that perform best will be used in the development of a numerical tool for simulation of RCF crack evolution.   

Start date 15/01/2014
End date The project is closed: 15/01/2019

Published: Thu 28 Jun 2018.