Three-dimensional residual stress effects on the fatigue crack initiation in rails

Chau Cho Yu*, Leon M Keer, R. K. Steele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A rail is simulated as an elastic-plastic kinematic hardening steel having a T-shaped cross section and finite length in the rolling direction. The direct analysis method and the finite element method are combined to solve for the steady-state residual stress/strains and cyclic plastic strain amplitudes. In the present analysis, some special loading cases are investigated. Results show that tensile residual stresses occur deep in a rail head over a large area of the substrate. These phenomena, which are observed in rail steel after service, cannot be deduced from a half plane or half space analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (Paper)
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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