Mistras Group
Custom NDT Solutions for In-Service Wheel Rail Interface Testing
Posted:
By: Eddyfi Technologies
Source: Eddyfi Technologies
As you watch a train pass by, you may count the rail cars carrying freight safely to its desired destination. Those in the rail transportation industry, however, know that the real action is in the wheels. The wheel rail interface is one of the most important components for a trainís operation. Its performance determines if the cargo will arrive on time, and regular inspection is necessary to ensure the integrity of this component. This article discusses why Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) and Eddy Current Testing (ECT) are critical for in-service wheel rail interface testing.

The transportation of valuable rail cargo depends on the reliability of the wheels they are sitting on. The enormous pressure that train wheels are constantly under means that they are susceptible to flaws. Thickness measurements must be performed routinely to make sure that the wheel can withstand this stress. But every time a wheelset is removed to be inspected, it increases the downtime for the railcar. The ability to address tight spaces in a fast-paced environment requires a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) technique that can inspect a wheel rail interface with minimal downtime. Thatís why custom NDT solutions for wheel rail interface testing are so important. These inspections can be done with either ultrasonic or eddy current testing methods, both of which can minimize downtime. Making sure the wheel rail interface is functioning at its highest level increases efficiency, protects property, and can even save lives.

The Need for Wheel Rail Interface Testing

NDT for the railway industry looks at several different components, including the strength of the rail itself. The rails are under constant pressure from the weight, strength, and speed of the train. Much of that pressure is centered on the wheels.

The flange on the wheel is critical for keeping it on the rail. Flanges must maintain a thickness level that helps prevent cracks and chips that can turn into huge problems. When the thickness decreases, damage can occur. The NDT technology used must measure both thickness and inspect for minute flaws on all of the irregular surfaces encountered within the wheel.

Read the full article at Eddyfi.com.

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