Modelling of flexi-coil springs with rubber-metal pads in a locomotive running gear

Tomáš Michálek, Jaromír Zelenka


Nowadays, flexi-coil springs are commonly used in the secondary suspension stage of railway vehicles. Lateral stiffness of these springs is influenced by means of their design parameters (number of coils, height, mean diameter of coils, wire diameter etc.) and it is often suitable to modify this stiffness in such way, that the suspension shows various lateral stiffness in different directions (i.e., longitudinally vs. laterally in the vehicle-related coordinate system). Therefore, these springs are often supplemented with some kind of rubber-metal pads. This paper deals with modelling of the flexi-coil springs supplemented with tilting rubber-metal tilting pads applied in running gear of an electric locomotive as well as with consequences of application of that solution of the secondary suspension from the point of view of the vehicle running performance. This analysis is performed by means of multi-body simulations and the description of lateral stiffness characteristics of the springs is based on results of experimental measurements of these characteristics performed in heavy laboratories of the Jan Perner Transport Faculty of the University of Pardubice.


flexi-coil spring; lateral stiffness; tilting rubber-metal pad; railway vehicle; multi-body simulations

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