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Observing early stage rail-axle bearing damage

Observing early stage rail-axle bearing damage
Observing early stage rail-axle bearing damage
This work presents initial results from a new approach to condition monitoring of rail axle bearings, in particular some early-stage failures.

Background: premature failure of rail axle bearings causes a significant increase in train operating costs and can impact on train safety. Rail axle bearings have an anticipated service life; however, some bearings do not achieve this. A new approach to degradation diagnostics is now in use on Southeastern / Bombardier trains and provides real-time vibration condition monitoring. Each independent wireless sensor unit bolts to a wheel bearing housing. The units are self-powered by vibration harvesting. This emerging methodology has been made possible by the decreasing power budget of sensor and wireless technologies.

Methods: in this initial study, real ex-situ examples of failures of bearings have been examined. The damaged regions of the bearings are examined using a suite of non-destructive techniques including optical and scanning electron microscopy, computed tomography (CT) and surface profilometry as well as traditional metallographic sectioning methods.


Discussion: a new on-board condition monitoring system has made possible the examination of the onset of in-service bearing degradation, allowing identification well in advance of catastrophic destruction of the evidence. Initial results indicate that the vibration sensors are correctly identifying failing bearings. CT damage maps are allowing targeted metallographic sectioning of the samples. Correlation between vibration data and the bearing damage parameters will improve diagnostic accuracy and ultimately improve train safety
Symonds, Nicola
cc8585b0-89f5-471c-84fd-969176516829
Corni, Ilaria
f3279082-7093-4a67-b1d7-9ab8bac75b8b
Wasenczuk, Adam
c37fe0d5-546e-4cea-b539-adcd3e21b89e
Wood, Robert
d9523d31-41a8-459a-8831-70e29ffe8a73
Vincent, D.
66bdad43-96d1-4c23-b801-ab04faece945
Symonds, Nicola
cc8585b0-89f5-471c-84fd-969176516829
Corni, Ilaria
f3279082-7093-4a67-b1d7-9ab8bac75b8b
Wasenczuk, Adam
c37fe0d5-546e-4cea-b539-adcd3e21b89e
Wood, Robert
d9523d31-41a8-459a-8831-70e29ffe8a73
Vincent, D.
66bdad43-96d1-4c23-b801-ab04faece945

Symonds, Nicola, Corni, Ilaria, Wasenczuk, Adam, Wood, Robert and Vincent, D. (2014) Observing early stage rail-axle bearing damage. Sixth International Conference on Engineering Failure Anlysis, Portugal. 05 - 08 Jul 2014.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

This work presents initial results from a new approach to condition monitoring of rail axle bearings, in particular some early-stage failures.

Background: premature failure of rail axle bearings causes a significant increase in train operating costs and can impact on train safety. Rail axle bearings have an anticipated service life; however, some bearings do not achieve this. A new approach to degradation diagnostics is now in use on Southeastern / Bombardier trains and provides real-time vibration condition monitoring. Each independent wireless sensor unit bolts to a wheel bearing housing. The units are self-powered by vibration harvesting. This emerging methodology has been made possible by the decreasing power budget of sensor and wireless technologies.

Methods: in this initial study, real ex-situ examples of failures of bearings have been examined. The damaged regions of the bearings are examined using a suite of non-destructive techniques including optical and scanning electron microscopy, computed tomography (CT) and surface profilometry as well as traditional metallographic sectioning methods.


Discussion: a new on-board condition monitoring system has made possible the examination of the onset of in-service bearing degradation, allowing identification well in advance of catastrophic destruction of the evidence. Initial results indicate that the vibration sensors are correctly identifying failing bearings. CT damage maps are allowing targeted metallographic sectioning of the samples. Correlation between vibration data and the bearing damage parameters will improve diagnostic accuracy and ultimately improve train safety

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IC_FAIL2014_0252_1 - Accepted Manuscript
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Symonds ICEFA VI.pdf - Other
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More information

Published date: 7 July 2014
Venue - Dates: Sixth International Conference on Engineering Failure Anlysis, Portugal, 2014-07-05 - 2014-07-08
Organisations: nCATS Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367670
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367670
PURE UUID: 8ae4bb35-0340-4a99-8f61-26fc8ce3c69e
ORCID for Robert Wood: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0681-9239

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Sep 2014 11:19
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:43

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Contributors

Author: Nicola Symonds
Author: Ilaria Corni
Author: Adam Wasenczuk
Author: Robert Wood ORCID iD
Author: D. Vincent

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