Determination of Wheel-Rail Contact Characteristics by Creating a Special Program for Calculation

Open access


The authors in this paper describe the steps of creating a special program in GUI tool in Matlab. The program is designed to calculate the main properties of wheel-rail contact zone, such as: contact ellipse dimensions, normal stress and friction coefficients. All the relevant equations, which were introduced by different researchers, are firstly presented and modified to be applicable to the programming environment, and then the program was built. In the end, the program working quality is discussed and some expected future developments on this program are suggested. The proposed program can make the comparison between theoretical and experimental results, when they are available, easier and faster.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • [1] Vollebregt E.A.H. & Kalker J.J. (2013). CONTACT: Vollebregt & Kalker’s rolling and sliding contact model. Retrieved February 16 2014 from

  • [2] Vollebregt E.A.H. (2013). User guide for CONTACT Vollebregt & Kalker’s rolling and sliding contact model. Delft: Vortech Computing.

  • [3] Vollebregt E.A.H. (2010). User Guide for Contact J.J.Kalker’s Variational Contact Model Delft: VORtech Computing.

  • [4] Jong Kim. (2012 April). Hertz’s contact ellipse between rail and wheel. Retrieved February 16 2014 from

  • [5] Sebeșan I. (2011). Dynamics of railway vehicles (Dinamica vehiculelor feroviare). Bucharest: Matrixrom.

  • [6] Ayasse J.B. (2006). Wheel-rail contact. In Iwnicki S. (Eds.) Handbook of railway vehicle dynamics (pp. 85-120). CRC Press Taylor & Francis group. Retrieved July 07 2013 from CRC Press link:

  • [7] Kalker J.J. (1967). On the rolling contact of two elastic bodies in the presence of dry friction PhD. Thesis. University of Technology. Delft Netherlands.

  • [8] Kalker J.J. (1967). A strip theory for rolling with slip and spin. Mechanics Series B70. (pp. 10-62). Amsterdam: Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen.

  • [9] Chartet M. (1950). La théorie statique du déraillement d’un èssieu. In Revue générale des chimen de fer 3 August s. 365. Paris. RGCF. (In French).

  • [10]Polach O. (2005 March). Creep Forces in Simulation of Traction Vehicles Running On Adhesion Limit. Wear Volume 258 (Issues 7-8) 992-1000. Retrieved July 23 2010 from Sciencedirect database on the World Wide Web: DOI: 10.1016/j.wear.2004.03.046.

  • [11]The MathWorks Inc. (2012 March). MATLAB: Creating graphical user interface The MathWorks Inc.

  • [12]Knight A. (2000). Basics of Matlab and Beyond. London Washington D.C.: Chapman & Hall/CRC.

  • [13] ETF: Railway Technical Publications. (2004 May). Trailing stock: Wheels and wheelsets conditions concerning the use of wheels of various diameters. UIC 510-2. France.

  • [14] Kalker J.J. (1982). A fast algorithm for the simplified theory of rolling contact Vehicle System Dynamics: International journal of vehicle mechanics and mobility 11(1) 1-13. DOI: 10.1080/00423118208968684.

  • [15]Nielsen J.B. (1998). New Developments in the Theory of Wheel/Rail Contact Mechanics. PhD. Thesis Informatics and mathematical modeling Tech. Univ. of Denmark Lyngby.

  • [16] ***Matlab Official Website:

  • [17]Michel R. Hatch. (2001). Vibration Simulation Using MATLAB and ANSYS. Boca Raton London New York Washington D.C.: Chapman & Hall/CRC.

  • [18] Steenbergen M. (2006). Modeling of Wheels and Rails Discontinuities in Dynamic Wheel-Rail Contact Analysis. Vehicle System Dynamics: International journal of vehicle mechanics and mobility 44 (10) 763-787. DOI: 10.1080/00423110600648535.

  • [19]Hou K. Kalousek J. & Dong R. (2003 October). A Dynamic Model for an Asymmetrical Vehicle/Track System. Journal of Sound and Vibration 267 (3) 591-604. DOI: 10.1016/s0022-46X(03)00726-0.

  • [20] Kabo E. Nielsen J.C.O. & Ekberg A. (2006). Prediction of Dynamic Train-Track Interaction and subsequent material deterioration in the presence of insulated rail joints. International journal of vehicle mechanics and mobility 44(1) 718-729. DOI: 10.1080/00423110600885715.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1518 536 2
PDF Downloads 1706 588 2