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Advances in Tribology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 878274, 7 pages
Research Article

Contact Thermal Analysis and Wear Simulation of a Brake Block

Department of Machine and Product Design, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Műegyetem rkp. 3, H-1111 Budapest, Hungary

Received 11 October 2012; Accepted 23 January 2013

Academic Editor: Patrick De Baets

Copyright © 2013 Nándor Békési and Károly Váradi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present paper describes an experimental test and a coupled contact-thermal-wear analysis of a railway wheel/brake block system through the braking process. During the test, the friction, the generated heat, and the wear were evaluated. It was found that the contact between the brake block and the wheel occurs in relatively small and slowly moving hot spots, caused by the wear and the thermal effects. A coupled simulation method was developed including numerical frictional contact, transient thermal and incremental wear calculations. In the 3D simulation, the effects of the friction, the thermal expansion, the wear, and the temperature-dependent material properties were also considered. A good agreement was found between the results of the test and the calculations, both for the thermal and wear results. The proposed method is suitable for modelling the slowly oscillating wear caused by the thermal expansions in the contact area.