This paper presents research activities regarding the systematic error of the pressure measurement film when measuring the area of the wheel–rail contact. In particular, an explanation for the different error values shown by the different film types was sought. A finite element model was created based on the assumption that not only the film, but also the microcapsules on top of it alter the results. The performance of the existing film models was enhanced by defining microcapsules with element failure and deletion behaviors. The new model was capable of reproducing the trend shown by the systematic error in the experiments. The simulation results confirmed that the measurement error of a certain film type is not only caused by the film itself, but also depends on the failure pressure and especially the diameter of the capsules.

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