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Vibrations Generated by Rail Vehicles: A Mathematical Model in the Frequency Domain

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Movement of railway vehicles generates mechanical vibrations of a wide range of frequency. Depending on track materials, dissipation in form of viscous and hysteretic damping is present, and stiffness depends on strain-rate. In a previous paper (Castellani et al., 1998), a mathematical model to describe track materials has been developed in the frequency domain. The present paper applies this model, and attempts an analytical formulation of vehicle-track and soil interaction in the frequency domain. Rail vibrations during the passage of a vehicle are generated by three families of forces: a) the weight of the moving vehicle, b) the inertial reaction of the vehicle under the effect of corrugations over an undeformable rail, and, c) the vehicle inertial forces due to displacements of the rail. The first two groups of forces do not depend on the rail displacement, and the related mathematical formulation is a simple problem of forces at a mobile point of application. Formulation of the vehicle inertial forces, related to the rail vibration, requires reference to the acceleration of the rail, as seen by an observer in motion with the vehicle itself. Moreover, it is necessary to express the equilibrium equation of two dynamic systems, the vehicle and the track, at a the movable point of contact. There is no straight numerical procedure to solve this equation in the frequency domain. In the paper two theoretical propositions (Fryba, 1988; Grassie et al., 1982) are revisited with reference to the effect of the transit of a single wheel. Fryba infers that, in the absence of corrugations, the forces c) are null. Grassie et al. (1982) present a mathematical formulation of the interaction between wheel and rail, at mobile point of contact. At each position, the interaction force is of impulsive type. They presume that for a corrugation of harmonic type, of wavelength ?, the wheel is subject to a harmonic motion, of the frequency f = V/?, where V is the wheel velocity. All other frequency components, due to the impulse, are disregarded. Both these assumptions are shown to be inconsistent from a theoretical point of view, however they suggest suitable approaches to the solution.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2000


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