The maintenance of railway axles requires an optimization of their inspection intervals in order to reduce costs. Such components can endure more than 30 years of service life and are subjected to scheduled Non Destructive Testing (NDT) inspections. It is therefore important to assess the influence of the severe in-service loads on the propagation of cracks in the axles. This manuscript reports deterministic fracture calculations, for the simulation of cracks propagating through a railway axle, by the Dual Boundary Element Method. Once Stress Intensity Factors along the crack front are obtained, the residual fatigue life estimates were calculated through a user made spreadsheet, taking into account the complex loading conditions of the axles. The presented results support the application of the crack propagation simulation for the determination of axle NDT intervals under different loading conditions.
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