Evaluation of wheel profile measurements by means of the contact-point function for the wheel–rail interface

This study examines the accuracy of a wayside train wheel profile measurement system. This was accomplished by an evaluation of the contact-point function for the wheel–rail interface. The wheel profile measurement system in question generates data about the wheel profiles of passing trains. These data are used for improving the wheel maintenance procedures for the rolling stock operator. Recent work shows that there are differences between the data from the two different units in the system, but how this influences further use of the data, e.g. in wheel–rail contact analysis, has not been investigated so far. Accordingly, this article shows how two key wheel measures (the wheel flange thickness and the wheel profile) impact on the contact-point function and which of these measures has the largest impact on the contact-point function. The data used in this study were generated by two different measurement units for the same wheel and with the same wheel status. The results show that the different units produce different results and that these differences are more prominent when a difference in the flange thickness is detected, with a resulting shift of the front side of the flange and of the tread. With no difference in the flange thickness, i.e. no shift of the front side of the flange and of the tread, a difference was still detected in the contact conditions. Furthermore, this investigation shows that the shape of the tread has a greater impact on the contact-point conditions compared to a change in the flange thickness of up to 2.5?mm. This difference in the tread shape could have originated in measurement noise or different wheel measurement positions. The results of the study also show the importance of managing the measurement quality before using the data, for example for maintenance decisions.


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  • Accession Number: 01667733
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 6 2018 3:45PM