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Experimental and theoretical investigation of railway wheel squeal

Hsu, Sin Sin and Huang, Zhenyu and Iwnicki, Simon D. and Thompson, David J. and Jones, Christopher J.C. and Xie, Gang and Allen, Paul (2007) Experimental and theoretical investigation of railway wheel squeal. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part F: Journal of rail and rapid transit, 221 (1). pp. 59-73. ISSN 0954-4097

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Abstract

The tangential contact forces that arise at the interface between the wheel of a railway vehicle and the rail provide all the traction, braking, and guidance required by the vehicle. These forces are the result of microslip or creepage and can become unstable exciting vibration of the wheel, particularly at frequencies corresponding to the wheel's axial (and radial) modes. Although theories exist for predicting these creep forces and their relationship to creepages, most lack experimental verification in the characterization of the falling friction coefficient during unsteady squealing. This paper presents some new results from a project which aims to develop a complete, validated model of curve squeal noise generation accounting for friction characteristics, excitation due to unstable forces between the wheel and rail and vehicle dynamic behaviour. The model includes wheel and track dynamic response and acoustic radiation. As part of the project, a twin disc rig has been modified to provide experimental data for the validation of the model and measurements were made of the lateral force and dynamic response of the rollers due to varying amounts of lateral creepage during squealing. The main feature of the twin disc rig compared with previous research [1] is that the contact force measuring system measures the contact forces at the web of the rollers and therefore close to the contact patch and through a slipring arrangement enables the lateral vibration of both rollers in relation to squeal be measured with relative ease. In this paper, detailed descriptions of the twin disc rig and the test method developed are given. An outline of the squeal model is also presented. Results from the tests have been compared with the prediction from the squeal model and with available theories and showed good agreement.

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