Development of predictive models for fatigue crack growth in rails

I. De Iorio, M. Grasso, G. Kotsikos, F. Penta, G. P. Pucillo

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Fatigue failures of rails often occur at the rail foot, since the geometry of this zone gives rise to stress concentrations under service loads or defects during rail manufacture and installation. In this paper, the fatigue behavior of cracks at the web/foot region of a rail is analyzed numerically. Analytical models in the literature for a semi-elliptical surface crack in a finite plate assume that the geometry of the front remains semi-elliptical during the whole propagation phase and the ellipse axes do not undergo translations or rotations. Fatigue tests show that this is not the case for such cracks in rails. A predictive model for crack growth has been developed by assuming an initial small crack at one probable initiation point between the web and foot of the rail in reference to a service condition loading. SIF values have been estimated by means of the finite element method and the plastic radius correction. The results attained were compared with crack growth experimental data.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationKey Engineering Materials
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)9783037852187
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event10th International Conference on Fracture and Damage Mechanics, FDM2011 - Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Duration: 19 Sept 201121 Sept 2011

    Publication series

    NameKey Engineering Materials
    ISSN (Print)10139826


    Conference10th International Conference on Fracture and Damage Mechanics, FDM2011


    • Crack growth
    • Rail defect
    • Railway safety


    Dive into the research topics of 'Development of predictive models for fatigue crack growth in rails'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this