The structural reliability of rolling stock and rail track are of profound importance for the safe, punctual and cost-effective operation of every rail network. Critical structural components such as axle bearings, wheels, rails, sleepers, bridges, etc. need to be constructed using materials which are resistant to cyclic fatigue loading, wear and corrosion. An essential part of modern railway operations is the use of Non Destructive Testing and Structural Health Monitoring methods to assess the condition of a range of safety critical assets. BCRRE has an extensive portfolio of advanced research projects in axle bearing fault detection using both wayside and on board measurements, fatigue crack initiation and propagation detection in rails and crossings, quality control, rail metallurgy, new materials for railways and rolling stock and advanced rail inspection techniques.
Current and recent major projects
FP7 Project MAX-BE: Interoperable monitoring, diagnosis and maintenance strategies for axle bearings (funded by the EC)
Development and demonstration of on-board and wayside axle bearing fault detection using an acoustic emission and vibration analysis integrated system. Demonstration of the final system will take place on the Lisbon-Porto rail line.
Structural Health Monitoring of Cast Manganese Crossings (funded by RSSB)
Development and evaluation in the field of a customised acoustic emission system capable of detecting and monitoring crack initiation and propagation during cyclic loading from rolling stock.
Partnership: National Structural Integrity Research Centre
NSIRC will sponsor in excess of 25 doctoral projects on axle bearing fault detection, structural health monitoring of rails and sleepers, wear resistance improvement, new composite materials and many others for 5 years from September 2014.
Arc Welding Quality Control
The quality of arc welds will be evaluated using advanced visual inspection in near-infrared wavelengths. This EPSRC CASE project is in collaboration with TWI.
Management and integration of wayside rolling stock condition monitoring data for the development of effective decision support tools (funded by Network Rail)
The purpose of this project is to develop a novel methodology of collecting, processing, cross-correlating, trending and managing the data from wayside condition monitoring equipment.
For more information, please contact: