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Thermography methods and modelling approaches for rail foot flaw detection

Rail foot flaws have the potential to cause broken rails which can lead to catastrophic derailments. This is not only an extremely costly issue for a rail operator in terms of damage to rolling stock, but has significant flow-on effects for network down-time and a safe working environment. In Australia, heavy haul operators run up to 42.5t axle loads with trains in excess of 200 wagons and these long trains produce very large cyclic rail stresses. The early detection of foot flaws before any rail breaks occur is of high importance to their safe and cost effective operation. This paper will present a brief review into the current methods for rail flaw detection with an emphasis on thermography, discussing apparent strengths and weaknesses. Thermography is a common Non Destructive Testing method used for the detection of temperature differentials on the surface of a structure that may be indicative of a flaw. Approaches for modelling of the wheel/rail interface for calculation of the rail stresses and determination of expected infrared radiation will be presented, along with an investigation into potential sensors that may be useful for a field device suitable for Australian heavy haul railway operating conditions.

Funding

Category 3 - Industry and Other Research Income

History

Editor

Gräbe PJ; Fröhling RD

Start Page

63

End Page

70

Number of Pages

8

Start Date

02/09/2017

Finish Date

06/09/2017

ISBN-13

9780911382662

Location

Cape Town, South Africa

Publisher

International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA)

Place of Publication

Virginia Beach, VA.

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Author Research Institute

Centre for Railway Engineering

Era Eligible

Yes

Name of Conference

11th International Heavy Haul Association Conference