Towards the understanding of wheel-rail flange squeal: In-situ experiment and genuine 3D profile-enhanced transient modelling

Yun Ke Luo, Lu Zhou, Yi Qing Ni

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Wheel-rail squeal noise during train turning has been a tricky problem influencing passengers and nearby residents. The tonal curve squeal that mainly occurs at the inner rail has been extensively studied, while the broadband flange squeal that takes place at the outer rail that can be equally annoying is seldom mentioned and hardly investigated. This paper presents a study aiming at understanding the mechanism of wheel-rail flange squeal from phenomenon to the underlying source. The study systematically demonstrates the connection between the observed wheel-rail flange squeal noise and contact force, with measurements taken from a series of well-controlled in-situ experiments on an operating metro line, and numerical simulations. An integrated transient model consisting of three submodels on train dynamics, rail dynamics, and wheel-rail contact incorporating genuine 3D surface irregularities is developed specifically for flange squeal analysis. The developed model can reproduce the characteristics of flange squeal and correlates wheel-rail contact force with the flange squeal noise with satisfactory performance. Features of flange squeal under four-speed levels corresponding to in-situ experiments are reappeared from global dynamics to local contact status. An explanation of the generation mechanism of flange squeal is proposed by measurement observation and confirmed through the proposed model with multiple influencing key factors, including train speed, contact position, shape of contact patch, contact creepages, and wheel and rail irregularities. The present study is expected to establish a footstone for the mechanism comprehension of flange squeal and inspire further research in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109455
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2022


  • Coupled dynamic modelling
  • In-situ experiment
  • Three-dimensional surface irregularities
  • Transient modelling
  • Wheel-rail contact
  • Wheel-rail flange squeal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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