Thermal Expansion Management in Aluminum/Stainless Steel Power Rail Systems: Design Considerations for Optimal System Performance

Expansion management of aluminum/stainless steel power rail due to thermal cycling is critical for long service life of the system and can be addressed by a variety of methods. The high relative expansion rate of aluminum, combined with heating due to electric current flow, climatic conditions and the need to maintain electrical continuity, makes design coordination of the power rail, guideway, and current collector critical to system performance and reliability. Improper expansion management can cause excessive wear of and damage to current collectors, shoes, power rail and power rail accessories, resulting in high maintenance costs and loss of service. Power rail expansion joints must manage the movement of the power rail due to thermal expansion, work in parallel with guideway structural expansions, and maintain an electrical connection with the train. It is best to address the design characteristics of the guideway, collector shoe and power rail expansion joints early in the system configuration. Designers must understand the environmental, physical, and electrical conditions of the entire system to properly design, locate and install expansion joints. This paper examines proper and improper design, location, and installation through real world examples. The authors offer key considerations for proper expansion management and optimal system performance.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 132-145
  • Monograph Title: Automated People Movers and Automated Transit Systems 2016: Innovation in a Rapidly Urbanizing World

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01596996
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784479797
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2016 3:01PM