Thermal models of railroad wheels and bearings

K. D. Cole, C. M. Tarawneh, A. A. Fuentes, B. M. Wilson, L. Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The rolling surface for railroad wheels can be a heat source that may have an impact on the performance of the wheel bearing. In this study, experimental data from an electrically-heated railroad wheel set is analyzed by constructing thermal models of the wheel set. A steady finite-element model, a steady-analytical model, and a transient lumped-parameter model are discussed. Model parameters are determined from careful comparisons with the experimental data. The lumped-parameter model given here is intended as a simple predictive tool for determining when wheel heating caused by rail operations will have an impact on bearing temperature. The model parameters found in this study will also be useful as experimentally-validated boundary conditions in ongoing finite-element studies of heated wheels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1636-1645
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Annular fin
  • Contact conductance
  • Heat transfer coefficient
  • Parameter estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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