Fatigue crack growth in full-scale railway axles – Influence of secondary stresses and load sequence effects

Martin Rieger*, Christian Moser, Peter Brunnhofer, David Simunek, Franz Josef Weber, Andreas Deisl, Hans Peter Gänser, Reinhard Pippan, Norbert Enzinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A wheel-set axle is located in the unsprung part of a rail vehicle and takes a supporting role in the running gear. If the wheel-set axle fails, the train will inevitably derail. Depending on the time of failure, this can lead to catastrophic consequences. For this reason, a wheel-set axle is a highly safety-critical component of railway vehicles. Detailed knowledge of crack propagation in wheel-set axles is therefore of great importance for a modern safety concept. To analyse the material behaviour under external loads approximated from operating conditions, experimental investigations were carried out on 1:1 specimens. This article presents the results of these experimental investigations carried out within the framework of the research project “Eisenbahnfahrwerke 3 (EBFW 3)” – “Probabilistic Fracture Mechanical Concept for the Assessment of Railway Wheel-sets”.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105360
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Fatigue
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2019


  • 1:1 scale tests
  • Crack propagation
  • Optical crack measurement
  • Railway axle
  • Residual stresses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production


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