Low Cost Transverse Rail Defect Detector
This project will use an ultrasonic beam traveling logitudinally along the rail rather than the complex normal and angle-beams transducer assemblies in current systems. Detectio of transverse defects becomes a simple pulse-echo application and resolves many inherent speed, inspectin reliability and robustness problems in current rail inspection systems. The simplified procedure will increase the reliability of inspection, simplify the instrumentation and lower the equipment costs. Its non-couplant transduction method involves a solid-state unit that enhances robustness in field operations. This Phase II project will examine the effects of surface conditions of the rail and of the dynamics of high-speed inspection on flaw detectability. It includes a theoretical analysis to optimize the inspection procedure and laboratory and field tests as well as modifying and adapting th inspection procedure for optimal flaw detectability under these service conditions. The commercial version of this technology will have a major effect on the way in which inspection is carried out in the railway industry. This simplified, low-cost, high-speed system will alter inspection economics and provide the railway companies with much more flexibility in scheduling inspection and will enable them to deploy the technology on their own hi-rail inspection vehicles to supplement outside contractor services.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.