A full-scale 3-D dynamic finite element (FE) model is created to solve the elastic-plastic wheel-rail rolling contact over rough surfaces under different friction forces. Both normal and tangential loads are applied properly. A bi-linear plastic material model is introduced and the real wheel and rail head geometries are simulated. The rolling of a drive wheel with full friction exploitation over a rough contact surface is analyzed in this paper. The stress distributions at the zone with rough surface are derived. From the results at a selected instant, it is found that roughness significantly increases the stress level of the surface layer. Furthermore, plasticity can greatly reduce stress peaks and change stress distributions. The maximum shear stress distribution at the rough surface is also analyzed to assess effects of roughness on fatigue crack initiation.

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