In-Depth Visual Analysis
The wheel-to-rail interaction is the physical connection between a rail vehicle’s wheels and the rails on which it travels. This critical contact point is responsible for the vehicle’s propulsion, guidance, stability, safety, and energy efficiency. Imperfections in the interaction can lead to increased wear, vibrations, and energy consumption, impacting the rail system’s overall performance.
Wheel to Rail Contact
When a railway wheel runs on a rail track, the point of contact between them is small. The size, shape and position of the contact patch combined with the relative velocities of the two surfaces dictates the forces acting on the wheels and the rail.
The contact patch generator in DigitalTrains™ generates a table of contact patches at different lateral positions for a given load case. The contact table is subsequently used with a non-linear creep calculation to determine the forces acting on the wheel and rail.
To calculate the contact patch, the profile of the wheel is required. DigitalTrains™ has a range of wheel profiles in its libraries and the tools to allow the user to create their own.
To calculate the contact patch, the profile of the rail is required. DigitalTrains™ has a range of rail profiles in its libraries and the tools to allow the user to create their own.