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Dynamicmodelsofrailwaytracktakinginto

accountofcrosssectiondeformationathigh
frequency
JiannanYang1,DavidThompson1andAtulBhaskar2
1

InstituteofSoundandVibrationResearch,UniversityofSouthampton,SouthamptonSO17
1BJ,UK
Tel:+44(0)2380592294,Fax:+44(0)2380593190,Email:jny1e08@soton.ac.uk

SchoolofEngineeringSciences,UniversityofSouthampton,Southampton,SO171BJ,UK

Summary
Track dynamic behaviour is important for the prediction of the rolling noise,
corrugationgrowthandtrackdamage.Variousmodelshavebeendevelopedinthe
literaturebutproblemsstillremain.Ontheonehand,analyticalmodelsbecome
insufficient because of the need to include crosssection deformation at high
frequencies.Ontheotherhand,FEmodelsarestraightforwardbutthetruncation
oftheinfinitelengthisunavoidable.Anewtaperedplaterailmodelisdeveloped
inthispaper.Thismodeltakesintoaccount allthemainmotionsrequiredfor
frequenciesbelow7kHz.Therailheadisrepresentedbyarectangularbeam,the
webbyaplateofconstantthicknessandthefootbyaplateofvariablethickness.
Theoutofplaneandinplanemotionsoftheplatesareapproximatedusingcubic
and linear functions respectively based on the relevant wave speeds. Freely
propagating waves in the rail are studied by means of Hamiltons principle.
Comparingtheresultsintermsofthedispersionrelations,thetaperedplaterail
modelshowsgoodagreementwithanFEmodel.Comparisonwithsimplerbeam
modelsconfirmstheimprovementsathighfrequenciesduetothetaperofthefoot.

Introduction

Railwayrollingnoiseinducedbytheroughnessoftherailandwheelsurfaces
forms the principal source of noise from railway operation [1]. These surface
irregularitiesproducedynamicinteractionforcesbetweenthewheelandrail.The
resultinghighfrequencyvibrationsaretransmittedintobothwheelandtrackand
thenthesoundisradiatedfromthevibrationofthestructures.
Dynamicmodelsarerequiredtopredictthenoiseemittedfromthetrackand
frequenciesuptoatleast5kHzshouldbeconsidered[2].Belowabout1500Hz,a
singleTimoshenkobeamissufficienttorepresenttheraildynamicbehaviour[3].

However,itismoredifficulttostudythedynamicbehaviourofrailwaytrackat
high frequencies due to crosssection deformation of the rail as found by
Thompson [4].Theverticalvibrationisdominatedbytherailfootflappingand
thelateralmotionisevenmorecomplicated.
Mostofthemodelstakingintoaccountofcrosssectiondeformationarebased
onfiniteelementmethods(FEM). Thompson [4] developedanFEmodelofa
finitelengthofrailusingbeamelementsfortheheadandplatesfortheremaining
parts.Sincesuchamodelonlyallowsfrequenciestobepredictedforagiven
wavenumber,thisisnotenoughtostudythefrequencyresponseofthetrack.To
improvetheapplicationofFEmethodstoaninfiniterail,thefinitestripmethod
(FSM)andsomeotherderivativesofFEMhavebeendeveloped,e.g. [5].The
deformationsofregularlydiscretizedelementsintheinfiniterailareconnected,by
consideringharmonicwavesinthelongitudinaldirection.Gavric[6]andGry[7]
usedanalternativeapproachbasedonfactorizationofthefunctiondescribingthe
displacementfield.Ageneralshapefunctionisusedtodescribethedeformation
ofthecrosssection,whilealongtherailaxiswavepropagationisassumed.
ToavoidthelargenumberofdegreesoffreedomofFEmethods,simplified
beammodelsweredevelopedbyWuandThompson[89],wheretherailheadand
footwererepresentedbyinfiniteTimoshenkobeams.Thewebwasmodelledasa
springintheverticaldirectionorbyanarrayofbeamsforthelateraldirection.
Theverticalandlateralvibrationsoftherailwerestudiedseparatelybasedonthe
assumptionofsymmetryofthecrosssection.
Foot deformation at high frequency is significant and an analytical model
whichtookaccountofthevariablethicknessoftherailfootwasdevelopedby
Bhaskar et al. [10]. However, little information is given for this model. In
addition, inplane motions of the plates were approximated by simple beam
bending. This requires improvement because they are quite deep beams.
Moreover, the stretching of the web in the direction normal to the wave
propagation was neglected to simplify the model, which could result in
considerablediscrepancies.
Therefore,ataperedplaterailmodelwillbeimplementedinthispaper.Itwill
becomparedwithbotha3DFEmodelandthesimplebeammodelsfrom[89].

Taperedplatemodel

Thecrosssectionofthemodel(UIC60rail)isshowninFig.1.Thismodeltakes
intoaccountallthemainmotionsrequiredforfrequenciesbelow7kHz.Therail
head is represented by a rectangular beam, the web by a plate of constant
thicknessandthefootbyplatesofvariablethickness.Themotionoftherailhead
canbecharacterizedbybeambendingintwodirections,torsionandcompression
in the longitudinal direction. The deformation of the web and foot can be
describedbyplateoutofplanebendingandtwisting,andinplanestretchingand
shear.Intherailaxis(zdirection),harmonicwavesareassumedoftheform e jkz
atfrequency (assumedtimedependence e jt ).

The variational principle is employed to determine unknown deflections in


ordertoavoidsolvingthedifferentialequationsofplatetheory.Theoutofplane
and inplane motions of the plates are approximated using cubic and linear
functionsrespectivelyinthexyplane.Atotalof17degreesoffreedomareused
torepresentthecrosssection.Thecomponentsareassembledwiththestiffness
matrixformulatedintermsofthewavenumberintheaxialdirection.Theresulting
eigenvalue problem is solved to find the dispersion characteristics and the
propagationmodesforthefreelypropagatingwavesintherail.

Fig.1.Mechanicalidealizationofthetheoreticalrailmodel.A,B,CandDarethefournodal
pointswhicharelocatedinthemiddleplaneofeachplate.PointErepresentsthecentreofthe
beamandthedashedlinesrepresenttheactualshapeofthebeamandplates.

2.1Footmodellingusingataperedplateandwebwithconstantthickness
ThefootelementABisshowninFig.2wherethecrosssectionisdefinedinthe
xy plane. The local coordinate 1 denotes the distance from point B. The
deflectionsinthex,yandzdirectionsarewrittenasu,vandwrespectively.The

variablethicknesscanbeexpressedas t f 1 S f 1 t f ,where S f istheslope


B

and t f is the thickness at point B. The thickness at the point A is thus


A

t f S f h f t f where h f isthefootlength.

ThevibrationenergiesofplateABconsistofbothoutofplaneandinplane
motion,andcanbewrittenas
U ABi

U ABo

1 Et f (1 )


x x z z ( x z x z G xz
xz d 1dz ,
2 (1 2 )

1
TABi t u&u& w&w& d1dz ,
2

D v,11 v,11 v, zz v, zz 2 1 v,1 z v,1 z (v,11 v, zz v,11 v, zz ) d 1dz ,


2

TABo

1
& dz ,
tv&vd
1
2

withUforpotentialenergy,Tforkineticenergyandsubscriptsi,orepresentin
planeandoutofplanerespectively. Here E isYoungsmodulus, G istheshear
modulus, is Poissons ratio, x
xz

u
w
and z
are normal strains and
1
z

Et 3f (1 )
u w

istheshearstrain.
istheplatebendingstiffness,and
z 1
12 1 2

thesubscriptszand 1 denotethederivativeswithrespecttozand 1 .

Fig.2.SchematicdiagramoffootABshowingtherelevantdimensionsandthecoordinateaxes.

Thehighestderivativesappearingintheenergyexpressionsaresecondandfirst
respectivelyforplateoutofplaneandinplanemotion.Ateachnode,itisthus
necessarytotakedisplacementandrotationasdegreesoffreedomforthebending
motion.Sinceonlythefirstcantilevermodeisofinterest,theplateoutofplane
bendingdeformationcanbeapproximatedbyapolynomialhavingfourconstants,
thatis,acubicfunction.Fortheinplanemotion,theminimumrequirementisa
linearfunction.Theshapefunctionsaretherefore
4

j t kz
v AB (1 , z , t ) ai1i 1 e
,

i 1

j t kz
u AB (1 , z , t ) d1 d 21 e
,
w AB (1 , z , t ) e1 e21 e

j t kz

Fortherailweb,itisquiteconvenienttoputtheplateslopeequaltozero.
Althoughthewebisquitelongcompared withthefoot,forasteelplatewith
constantthickness,at5000Hzthewavelengthsoflongitudinalandshearwaves
areabout1.1mand0.63mrespectively.Therefore,oneelementoflength0.11m
isstillsufficienttosatisfytherequirementofatleast6elementsperwavelength.
2.2Railheadrepresentedbyabeam

The rail head can be modelled with a rigid crosssection because of its high
stiffness. Its dimensions are small compared with the wavelength of shear or
longitudinalwavesinthefrequencyrangeofinterest.Ataround5000Hz,the
minimumverticalandlateralbendingwavelengthsareabout0.35mand0.27m
fromanFEanalysis(see[11]),whichareabout9and4timesthecorresponding
dimension of rail head. Although the rail behaviour actually becomes mainly
dominated by foot vibration, shear deformation and rotational inertia effects
become important for the lateral motion at high frequency. Therefore, it is
sufficienttousetheelementarybeamtheoryfortheheadfortheverticalmotion
butTimoshenkobeamtheoryhastobeemployedforthelateralmotion.
1
1
1
*

*
EI y u E , zz uE , zz dz EI xE , z E , z dz AG vE ,Z E vE , Z E dz
2
2
2
1
1
GJ E , z E , z dz EAwE , z wE , z dz ,
2
2
1
1
1
1
*

Th Au&E u&E dz Av&E*v&E dz I z&E E dz Aw&E w&E dz


2
2
2
2
1

J&E &E dz ,
2

whereAistheareaofthecrosssectionofrailhead,Jisthetorsionconstantofthe
crosssection,Eistherotationoftherailhead,Ixisthesecondmomentsofareaof
thecrosssectionaboutxaxistherail,butIyisthesecondmomentsofareaofthe
headbaseaxis(thelongitudinalaxiswherethepointDlocated). iscalledthe
Timoshenkoshearcoefficientand 5 / 6 isusedhere. E describestherotation
oftheheadcrosssectionaboutthevertical.
2.3Freelypropagatingwavesintherail
ByapplyingthecompatibilityatpointsBandD,thetotalnumberofdegreesof
freedom is 17. The following equation is obtained by applying Hamiltons
principlebasedonaunitlengthofrailintheintegral:
( jk )4 K 4 ( jk )2 K 2 ( jk ) K1 K 0 2M {q} {0}

Thesolutionstothisequationrepresentwavesinthefreerailwithoutsupport.
To solve this generalized polynomial eigenvalue problem in k for a given
frequency,itisconvenienttoconvertitintostatespaceform
q 0

q
A jkB 1 {0} ,
q 2
q 3

0
0
0

where A=

I
0
0

0
I
0

- ( K 0 2M ) -K 1 -K 2

0
B=
,

I
0
0
0

0
I
0
0

0 0
0 0
are both 68 68
I 0

0 K 4

matrices(Iistheidentitymatrixand0isamatrixofzeros),and {qi } jk i {q},


i=0,1,2,3.

Results

Thesymmetricandantisymmetricwavesofafreerailareshownseparatelyin
Figs3and4sincetheydonotcouplewitheachotherduetothesymmetryofthe
crosssection.AshortlengthoffreeUIC60railhasbeenmodelledusingANSYS
finiteelement package andtheresultsare usedasareference. Thedispersion
relationsfromsimplifiedbeammodels[89]arealsopresentedascomparison.

Fig. 3. Dispersion relation for vertical/longitudinal motion of free rail, , tapered plate model;
, simplified beam model; g g g, the original FE model.

Fromthesetwofigures,itcanbeseenthatbothanalyticalmodelsgivegood
results compared to FE analysis. However, the improvements brought by the
taperedplatemodelarestillsignificantespeciallyathighfrequencies.
Fortheverticalmotion,thefootflappingmode(iii)whichcutsonabout5kHz
iswellrepresentedbybothplateandbeammodels,butthetaperedplatemodel
givesmuchbetterrepresentationfortheverticalbendingwave(i)forfrequency
higherthan4kHz.Itisfoundfromthemodeshapes(notshown)thatthevertical

bendingwaveisdominatedbythedeformationoftherailfootathighfrequency.
Althoughthebeammodeltakesaccountofthefootflappingbymodellingthefoot
as a separate beam, it cannot represent the deformation of the foot itself. In
addition,thedoublebeammodeldoesnotgivethelongitudinalwaves(ii)atall
becausethereisnodegreeoffreedomintheraildirectionassignedtothismodel.
Itshouldbenotedthatthewavethatcutsonatabout5kHzfromsimplebeam
modelisactuallythewarpingbehaviourofoneofthebeams,butnotthesecond
orderlongitudinalwave(iv)wheretheheadandthefootmoveantiphase.

Fig.4.Dispersionrelationforlateralmotionoffreerail. , tapered plate model;


simplified beam model; g g g, the original FE model.

Forthelateralmotion,thetorsion(II)andsimplewebbending(III)modesare
wellrepresentedbybothanalyticalmodelsbutforthelateralbendingwave(I),
thesetwomodelsdeviatefromabout2kHz.Asfoundfromthemodeshapesfrom
theFEanalysis,above2kHzthelateralbendingwaveisdominatedbytherocking
ofthefoot.Inthebeammodel,aconstantthicknessbeamisusedfortherailfoot.
AsfoundbyYang [11] thisassumptionmakesthelateralbendingmotionmuch
lessstiff thanthereal structure athighfrequency. However, thetapered plate
modelmakesabigimprovementonthisbyincludingthetaperoftherailfoot.The
remainingsmall difference from theFEmodel isduetothefact that thereal
structurehasamorecomplicatedtaperedfoot.Thediscrepancyforthedoubleweb
bendingwave(IV)isalsoduetothefootmodelling.

Conclusions

Anewanalyticalmodelofarailwithataperedfootispresented.Therailhead,
webandfootareconstructedusingabeam,aplatewithconstantthicknessanda
taperedplaterespectively.Cubicshapefunctionsareusedtoapproximatetheplate
outofplanemotionsandlinearshapefunctionsareusedfortheinplanemotions.
TheheadbeamisrepresentedbyanEulerbeamverticallybutaTimoshenkobeam
laterally.Thepotentialandkineticenergyofeachpartarefoundfirstusingstress
strainrelations.Thenthewholestructureisassembledandthedispersionrelations
of the free rail are found using Hamiltons principle. It can be seen that this
taperedplatemodelgivesgoodagreementwithanFEmodel.
Inaddition,itisclearfromthecomparisonwiththesimplifiedbeammodels
thatbigimprovementonthisisachievedathighfrequencybyincludingthetaper
oftherailfoot.First,itgivesmorecompletemodellingoftherailbyconsidering
allpossiblemotionsupto7kHz.Second,athighfrequency,thesimplifiedbeam
modelstendtounderestimatetheverticalresponseandtooverestimatethelateral
response. As the tapered plate model considers more details of the rail, more
parameterscanbevariedtooptimizetheraildesignfornoisereductionpurposes.
Inordertousethemodeltopredictnoiseitisnecessarytoincludethesupport
structure(ballast,sleepersandrailpads)andtocouplethemodeltoapredictionof
acoustic radiation.Thisisbeyondthe scopeof the paper. However, it can be
expectedthatthepresentmodelwillgiveimprovedresults,particularlyforthe
decayrateofvibrationalongtherail.

References
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