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NDE for Rail Track Damaged by Ice from High-Speed Trains
By: Xiaolin Song, Xuanran Fu, Dingjun Xiao & Cai Yi
Source: Nature
In winter snowy or rainy weather, the phenomenon of icing under rolling stock during high-speed operation is significantly severe, posing a potential risk of detachment and impact on track structures due to the presence of ice blocks with substantial mass and velocity. Therefore, it is crucial to develop an efficient method for characterizing and evaluating this impact damage in order to assess the service life of the track. To address this issue, the indoor ice impact tests were conducted on track slab models, and a comprehensive analysis was performed on non-destructive testing data before and after the impact test, including 3D surface morphology assessment, surface hardness and wave velocity measurements. Additionally, in order to verify the effectiveness of the nondestructive testing method, the frozen-thawed and not frozen-thawed track slab models were tested and their results were compared. The experimental results revealed that when impacted by ice blocks at a velocity of 100 m/s, small dimples formed on the surface of track slab models with the maximum depth measured at 0.0694 mm.

There was a maximum increase rate in surface hardness amounting to 11.61%, and a maximum decrease rate in wave velocity measuring at 6.52%. Furthermore, the impact damage of the two models has been evaluated, the not frozen-thawed track slab model exhibited minor damage after impact, whereas the frozen-thawed track slab model demonstrated moderate damage in the contact region and minor damage outside of that region. The proposed non-destructive testing method effectively enables assessing the impact damage inflicted upon slab models while providing valuable insights for maintenance and repair strategies related to track slabs.

Read the full article at Nature.com.

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