Bolted rail joint is one of the most vulnerable areas in railway track. A comprehensive approach was developed for studying the reliability of fatigue crack initiation of railroad bolt hole under random axle loads and random material properties. The operation condition was also considered as stochastic variables. In order to obtain the comprehensive probability model of fatigue crack initiation life prediction in railroad bolt hole, we used FEM, response surface method (RSM), and reliability analysis. Combined energy-density based and critical plane based fatigue concept is used for the fatigue crack prediction. The dynamic loads were calculated according to the axle load, speed, and track properties. The results show that axle load is most sensitive parameter compared to Poisson’s ratio in fatigue crack initiation life. Also, the reliability index decreases slowly due to high cycle fatigue regime in this area.
Rail-wheel tribology, rolling contact mechanic, finite element modeling, reliability analysis.