Complex Bogie Modeling Incorporating Advanced Friction Wedge Components

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Virginia Tech

The design of the freight train truck has gone relatively unchanged over the past 150 years. There has been relatively little change to the fundamental railway truck design because of the challenges of implementing a cost effective and reliable modification to designs that have proven effective in decades of operation. A common U. S. railway truck consists of two sideframes, a bolster, two spring nests, and four friction wedges. The two sideframes sit on the axels. The bolster rides on springs on top of the sideframes. The friction wedges also ride on springs on top of the sideframe, and are positioned between the bolster and sideframe, acting as a damping mechanism. Better understanding the dynamic behavior and forces on the bodies are critical in reducing unnecessary wear on the components, along with potential negative behavior such as loss of productivity and increase in operating costs.

This thesis will investigate the dynamic behavior of the truck under warping conditions using a stand-alone model created in Virtual.Lab. This research covers two main areas.

First, the full-truck model will be developed and its simulation results will be compared to test data from the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI). Data was provided from warp testing performed at the TTCI facilities in the spring of 2008. Once validated, the model will be used to gain a better understanding of the forces and moments that are propagated through the system, and of the dynamics of all bodies. Due to costs and physical constraints, not every bogie component can be instrumented during test, so the computer model will be able to provide valuable information not easily obtained otherwise.

Second, full-truck models using different contact geometry between the wedges, sideframes, and bolster will be compared. A model with extremely worn sideframes will allow for investigation into the effects of wear on the damping abilities and warp stiffness of the truck. Another model using split wedges will be compared with the previous model to investigate into the behavior differences in the truck using different types of wedges. By understanding the impact of different geometries on the overall performance of the truck, better decisions on design and maintenance can be made in the future.

After creating the models, we found that the full-truck model created in LMS® Virtual.Lab compared well with the test data collected by TTCI. In the comparison with NUCARS® we determined that the stand-alone model, which incorporates the wedges as bodies, captures the warp dynamics of the truck better than NUCARS®, which models the wedges as connections. By creating a model with severely worn sideframes, we were able to determine that the truck loses its abilities to damp bounce in the system as well as to prevent warping when the components become sufficiently worn. The split-wedge model behaved similarly to the standard full-truck model for bounce inputs, but had a significantly different behavior in warp. Further development will be needed on the split-wedge model to be confident that it behaved as expected.

friction wedge, bogie, railway trucks, dynamic model, multibody, NUCARS