Simulation of a multi-stage railway wheel and tyre forming process

M. J. Ward, B. C. Miller, K. Davey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Railway wheels and tyres are manufactured at ABB Diamler-Benz Transportation (Adtranz), located in Manchester, by a multi-stage hot forming process. This process includes forging, piercing and in many cases, ring-rolling operations. This paper describes the finite element simulation of the entire process using the DEFORM™-2D metal forming program. The objective of the simulation was to determine whether alternative pre-form configurations of material and tooling could result in a final component with superior geometrical and physical properties. In addition, the sensitivity of the analysis to thermal effects was investigated by performing both isothermal and thermo-mechanical analyses of otherwise identical operations. The automatic multiple operation capability of DEFORM™ was used to allow the practical simulation of all the stages, including heat loss between forming operations in the thermo-mechanical simulation. Piercing was modelled by the fracture capability of the code, employing the Cockcroft and Latham damage criteria. Ring-rolling was included by assuming pseudo-plane strain metal flow. The exercise has demonstrated that pre-form design is a significant factor in this production process and that simulation tools can be readily employed to suggest potential improvements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Processing Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1998


  • Finite element simulation
  • Fracture
  • Hot forging
  • Preform design
  • Railway wheels
  • Ring-rolling


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