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An engineering analysis of insulated rail joints : a general perspective
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Nirmal MandalNirmal Mandal, B Peach
The insulated rail joint (IRJ) is considered as a necessary evil by the rail transportation and maintenance industry. For automated block signalling it is required to have sections of track electrically insulated from each other, disallowing the rail to be continuously welded as is done where possible. The IRJ is however substantially weaker than the rail and so is subjected to large stresses, causing failure. This paper investigates an engineering analysis of different designs and failure modes of the IRJ and a 3D finite element model for analysing the stresses experienced by three different joint bar sizes, one of 30mm width, one of 34mm width and one of 40mm width. The paper is part of a greater study into the IRJ and searching for ways to improve the performance of the assembly.