University of Oulu

Yu, X., Aceituno, J.F., Kurvinen, E. et al. Comparison of numerical and computational aspects between two constraint-based contact methods in the description of wheel/rail contacts. Multibody Syst Dyn 54, 303–344 (2022).

Comparison of numerical and computational aspects between two constraint-based contact methods in the description of wheel/rail contacts

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Author: Yu, Xinxin1; Aceituno, Javier F.2; Kurvinen, Emil3;
Organizations: 1Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, LUT University, Lappeenranta, Finland
2Dept. of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, University of Jaén, Jaén, Spain
3Dept. of Materials and Mechanical Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Mevea Ltd., Lappeenranta, Finland
5Dept. of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Seville, Seville, Spain
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-05-31


The numerical and computation aspects of the Knife-edge Equivalent Contact (KEC) constraint and lookup table (LUT) methods are compared in this paper. The LUT method implementation uses a penetration-based elastic contact model for the flange and a constraint-based formulation at the wheel tread. For the KEC method, where an infinitely narrow rail contacts an equivalent wheel, regularization of the tread-flange transition is adopted to simultaneously account for tread and flange contacts using constraints. A comparison between the two methods is carried out using well-known numerical integrators to show the applicability and limitations of both methods.

Two fixed-step-size integrators, the explicit Runge–Kutta (RK4) and the predictor–corrector Adam–Bashforth–Moulton (ABM) methods, and two variable-step-size Matlab built-in function integrators, the explicit ode45 and implicit ode15s, were applied to get the numerical solutions to the dynamic problems and study the relative numerical performance of the two contact description methods. To complete the railway vehicle model, both contact methods were implemented for the multibody model of a benchmark railway vehicle (the Manchester wagon 1). Numerical results were obtained for different railway tracks with and without irregularities. Profiles of the S1002 wheel and LB-140-Area rail, which demonstrate the two-point contact phenomenon, were considered. Both methods were implemented in Matlab and validated against commercial simulation software. The kinematic results for both approaches show good agreement, but the KEC method was up to 20% more efficient than the LUT method regardless of integrator used.

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Series: Multibody system dynamics
ISSN: 1384-5640
ISSN-E: 1573-272X
ISSN-L: 1384-5640
Volume: 54
Issue: 3
Pages: 303 - 344
DOI: 10.1007/s11044-022-09811-6
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 214 Mechanical engineering
Funding: The authors thank for the support given by Business of Finland under the SmartTram-LUT project with reference 6292/31/2018. In addition, the authors thank for the help of the Andalusian Regional Government, in Spain, under the PAIDI 2020 program with project reference P18-RT-1772. All this support is gratefully acknowledged.
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