Title: The control of wheel/rail rolling noise at the source

Authors: Paul J. Remington

Addresses: BBN Technologies, 70 Fawcett St., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Abstract: Wheel/rail rolling noise, which dominates on straight track in the absence of wheel flats and rail joints, is produced by the fluctuating forces generated in the contact zone by the small scale roughness on the running surfaces of the wheel and rail. Controlling rolling noise at the source involves reducing this roughness itself or modifying the interaction between wheel and rail in the contact zone so as to reduce the interaction forces. Here, using analytical models of the interaction in the contact zone, we examine a number of alternative approaches to reducing the roughness excitation. The approaches include, wheel and rail smoothing, resiliently treaded wheels, wheel profile modifications and the use of fluid films. While some of the approaches offer the potential for reducing rolling noise by 5 to 10 dB, there are a number of practical problems to be overcome. The estimated acoustic performance and potential implementation problems of each treatment are discussed.

Keywords: contact stillness; rolling noise; surface roughness; wheel-rail noise; noise reduction; acoustic performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHVS.2000.004517

International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, 2000 Vol.7 No.1, pp.1 - 21

Published online: 09 May 2004 *

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