Wheel profile evolution has a large influence on track and wheelset related maintenance costs. It influences important parameters such as equivalent conicity or contact point positioning, which will affect the dynamic behavior of the vehicle, in both tangent track and curve negotiation. High axle loads in freight wagons may increase both the wheel wear and the damage caused by vehicles with both new and already worn profiles. A common profile in Europe is the S1002 profile, developed for rail inclination 1/40. In Sweden rail inclination is 1/30, so contact conditions might not be optimal. The presented work uses Archard’s wear law to analyze the profile wear evolution in a two axle freight vehicle with Unitruck running gear on the Swedish network. This wear calculation methodology has been successfully used to predict uniform wear in passenger vehicles. First, the vehicle model has been optimized in order to improve the speed of the wear simulations. Experimental measurements of wheel profiles have been performed in order to validate the simulations. The conclusion is that the wear methodology successfully used to predict uniform wheel wear in passenger vehicles cannot be directly applied for the calculation of wheel profile evolution in high tonnage freight vehicles. The influence of block brakes or switches and crossings cannot be dismissed when calculating uniform wheel wear in these cases.

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