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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 385018, 14 pages
Research Article

Experimental and Numerical Simulation of Wheel-Rail Adhesion and Wear Using a Scaled Roller Rig and a Real-Time Contact Code

Politecnico di Torino, DIMEAS, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy

Received 9 April 2013; Accepted 10 August 2013; Published 23 February 2014

Academic Editor: Mehdi Ahmadian

Copyright © 2014 Nicola Bosso and Nicolò Zampieri. 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 work shows the use of a scaled roller rig to validate a real time wheel-rail contact code developed to study the wheel rail adhesion and the wear evolution. The code allows the profiles to change at each time step in order to take into account the material loss due to the wear process. The contact code replicates a testing machine composed of a roller rig with a prototype of a single suspended wheelset pressed onto it with a variable load. The roller rig, developed at Politecnico di Torino, is used to validate and optimize the contact code referring to experimental data directly measured in real time. The test bench, in fact, allows measurement of specific kinematical quantities and forces that are elaborated by the real-time code in order to produce numerical results for comparison with the experimental ones. This approach can be applied both to the determination of wheel-rail adhesion and to the wear process. The test rig is also equipped with a laser profilometer that allows measurement of the wheel and rail profiles with a very high accuracy.