Knowledge of the residual stress state in wheels resulting from manufacturing and subsequent service loading is useful for several practical reasons. The ability to estimate residual stress levels permits the tuning of manufacturing processes to control the magnitude and distribution of these stresses in new wheels in order to achieve safe performance in service. Similarly, understanding the redistribution of residual stresses following application of service loads (wheel/rail contact and thermal stresses) is crucial to avoid operating conditions which may lead to premature wheel failure. Axisymmetric (2-dimensional) analyses are typically performed in order to conduct manufacturing process simulations since these processes affect the entire wheel in a circumferentially uniform sense. Generally, analyses involving service loading have sought to identify the "shakedown state" at which the residual stress distribution stabilizes after some number of loading cycles. In order to properly account for service loads, 3-dimensional models are required since contact and brake shoe thermal loading are not axisymmetric. Since the as-manufactured residual stress distribution must be considered in a service loading simulation, 3-dimensional modeling of this process is required. This paper presents a preliminary comparison of 2- and 3-dimensional modeling of the wheel heat treatment process. Except for the increased computational time required for the 3-dimensional analysis, the results agree favorably. The 3-dimensional model is used to simulate service loads involving wheel-rail contact loading representative of a typical passenger car. The model is exercised with a variety of material models for comparison with previous work. Results are presented for multiple loading scenarios and shakedown stress states are established for a range of applied loads.

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