Investigation of probable squat growth from initial surface cracks in rails using a three-dimensional rollover simulation

Timna Jakomijna Gschwandl, Thomas Antretter, David Künstner, Stephan Scheriau, Werner Daves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Squats are rather complex failure mechanisms in rails and challenge railway operators all over the world, thus calling for a detailed investigation of squats by means of finite element analysis to locate the initiation and propagating mechanisms. In this work, a cyclic three-dimensional (3D) finite element model of a wheel-rail contact including an initial penny-shaped defect is used. This work presents the implementation of the starting penny-shaped crack in the rail for a wheel-rail simulation by utilising a submodel strategy. Moreover, viable evaluation options are shown. In the future, this set-up will help to assess multiple crack positions and possible squat growth mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-413
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © IMechE 2023.


  • configurational force
  • crack driving force
  • elasto-plastic material model
  • finite element analysis
  • penny-shaped crack
  • residual stresses
  • Squats

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