The Lateral Dynamics of a Nonsmooth Railway Wheelset Model

Tingting Zhang*, Hans True, Huanyun Dai

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this paper, we investigate the lateral dynamics of a railway wheelset suspended under a moving car with linear springs and dry friction dampers. Both theoretical and numerical methods are used to complement each other. The car runs on an ideal, straight and perfect track with a constant speed. A nonlinear relation between the creepages and the creep forces is used in this paper. The nonsmoothness of this model is due to the dry friction dampers. The speed is selected as the bifurcation parameter. The one-dimensional bifurcation diagram, which gives a general view of the dynamics of the system, is presented. Both symmetric and asymmetric periodic motions, quasi-periodic motions and chaotic motions are found. In addition to bifurcations that can exist in both smooth and nonsmooth systems, a kind of sliding bifurcations that are unique to nonsmooth systems is found. Bifurcation diagrams, phase portraits, Poincaré sections and Lyapunov exponents are presented to ensure that no contradictory results are given. The influence of the conicity of the wheel tread on the Hopf bifurcation type is examined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1850095
JournalInternational Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
Issue number8
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Bifurcations
  • Chaos
  • Nonlinearity
  • Nonsmoothness
  • Railway wheelset


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