The Influence of Speed Variation on Wear-Type Rail Corrugation Formation and Growth

Bellette, Paul (2009). The Influence of Speed Variation on Wear-Type Rail Corrugation Formation and Growth PhD Thesis, School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Bellette, Paul
Thesis Title The Influence of Speed Variation on Wear-Type Rail Corrugation Formation and Growth
School, Centre or Institute School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-05
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor P.A. Meehan
W.J.T. Daniel
Total pages 195
Total colour pages 12
Total black and white pages 183
Subjects 09 Engineering
Abstract/Summary Rail corrugation is a periodic wear pattern that develops on the wheel and rail contacting surfaces in railway systems. It is a commonly observed phenomenon worldwide and is a serious problem because it causes degradation of the track and its components and is a significant source of noise. Currently the only reliable method of ameliorating the negative effects of rail corrugation is to periodically regrind the rail surface to a smooth profile, at great expense to the railway operator. It is therefore of interest to investigate other possible control strategies to reduce corrugation growth through an understanding of the mechanism of corrugation formation. This thesis presents an investigation into the effect of speed variation on the corrugation formation mechanism. The research presented is intended to highlight the significant role that speed variation has on corrugation formation via a disruption of the feedback mechanism which leads to corrugation growth over successive train passages. This discovery motivates the investigation the feasibility of altered speed variation as a novel corrugation control method, due to the large effect that the variance of train speed has on corrugation growth rates. The effect of variable pass speed on corrugation formation has been investigated in this thesis through the use of efficient models of corrugation formation in straight track and cornering conditions. These models are simple enough to readily perform corrugation control studies without neglecting any relevant physics, obscuring the corrugation formation mechanism with overly detailed modelling or imposing a significant computational burden on performing control studies. These novel models have been outlined and their predictions elucidated in detail. A theoretical investigation into the effect of speed variation in the presence of a resonance free mechanism for corrugation growth via a contact filter has been performed and shown to only be important when the dynamic wavelength of formation approaches the size of the contact patch. The results of these corrugation models have been validated via test rig and field experiments. An investigation of the effectiveness of speed variation as a corrugation growth control measure has also been investigated via test rig experiments. The results of this thesis have formed the basis of an industry supported field trail of this technique for corrugation mitigation that is currently in progress.
Keyword rail corrugation
Speed Variation
Contact Mechanics
control
Friction Modifiers
Additional Notes 32,50,60-66,68-70

 
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