BelKol-MKS: Determination of application- and vehicle-dependent load spectra for rail vehicle bogies by means of multi-body simulation


In the past, the technical and economic demands placed on rail vehicles have grown steadily. The increased energy costs and the associated economic significance of energy consumption in vehicle operation have led to an increased use of the design principles of lightweight construction in conjunction with the calculation concept of operational stability. A prerequisite for a light, energy-saving and at the same time safe design is that the load spectra used for calculating the fatigue strength correspond to the loads that arise in subsequent use of the vehicle.

Load collectives for the fatigue strength calculation of bogie components (e. g. the bogie frame) are currently determined from static and quasi-static load cases. The influence of the vehicle behaviour on the loads is taken into account by dynamic surcharge factors, which are based on experience and partly normative specifications. Such surcharge factors are given for street and subway vehicles, for example, in [1] and for mainline vehicles in [2]. The disadvantage of this procedure is that it does not take into account neither the use of the vehicle nor its individual dynamic behaviour.

An alternative to the determination of load spectra is the use of multi-body simulation (MBS). The MBS has long been used for the dynamic design and evaluation of rail vehicles. Compared to the existing load acceptance procedure, it has the advantage of taking the dynamic vehicle behaviour into account inherently. Investigations on the calculation of fatigue strength using multi-body simulation on rail vehicles were already carried out in the 1990s [3], [4], [5]. These were able to show the principle suitability of the process.

The MBS is currently mainly used to secure the load assumptions in special load cases. To this end, short journeys with defined distances and courses of speed, drive and braking torques are simulated. However, such a procedure is not suitable for the determination of representative load spectra, since the required exact speed, drive and braking torques as well as the alignment and track position are not available during development. Given the high mileage of rail vehicles (approximately 7.5 million kilometers for local and regional vehicles and 15 million kilometers for high-speed vehicles), this would not be feasible despite the computing power available today. Representative scenarios are therefore required to determine representative load spectra by means of multi-body simulation, which reflect the planned use of the rail vehicle and can be implemented in terms of computer technology.

Within the scope of BelKol-MKS, the generation of representative load spectra for rail vehicle bogies is therefore being investigated by means of multi-body simulation. It is investigated how the variety of application parameters (e. g. number, length and speed distribution of the driving cycles, number, radius, superelevation and cant deficiency of the curves as well as the track position) can be reduced and what influence the vehicle modeling has. Based on the findings, a procedure is to be developed which allows the calculation of the loads arising during subsequent operation with manageable effort and effort. This enables the use of still existing lightweight construction potentials and increases safety in the development process.

The project is being carried out in cooperation with Siemens AG Austria, the world competence center for chassis technology in Graz.

[1]: VDV 152: Recommendations for strength design of passenger cars according to BOStrab.

[2]: DIN EN 13749: Railway applications - Wheelsets and bogies - Special purpose procedure for strength requirements on bogie frames. Berlin: Beuth-Verlag.

[3]: Luo, R. K., Gabbitas, B. L. and Brickle, B. V.: An integrated dynamic simulation of metro vehicles in a real operating environment. In: Vehicle System Dynamics 23, S. 334–345,1993.

[4]: Stichel, S.: Betriebsfestigkeitsberechnung bei Schienenfahrzeugen anhand von Simulationsrechnungen. Fortschritt Berichte VDI, Reihe 12, Nr. 288. Düsseldorf: VDI Verlag, 1996.

[5]: Flach, M.: Rechnerische Lebensdauerabschätzung für stochastische Lasten im Schienenfahrzeugbau. Siegen: FOMAAS, 1999.



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