Radiative Heat Transfer Analysis of Railroad Bearings Using a Single Bearing Test Rig for Wayside Thermal Detector Optimization

University  The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV)
Principal Investigators  Stephen Crown, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering (PI)
Constantine Tarawneh, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering (Co-PI)
PI Contact Information  Mechanical Engineering
ENGR 3.234
Dept. (956) 665-2394
Office (956) 665-5015
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)  Federal Funds (USDOT UTC Program): $62,904
Cost Share Funds (UTRGV): $26,230
Total Project Cost  $89,134
Agency ID or Contract Number  DTRT13-G-UTC59
Start and End Dates January 2015 — May 2017
Brief Description of Research Project  Testing of tapered-roller bearings for freight railcars is an area of active research at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Current efforts are aimed at bearing health monitoring utilizing emerging temperature and vibration sensor technologies. UTRGV currently possesses two four-bearing test rigs that are used to perform laboratory experiments required to support the ongoing development of rolling stock condition monitoring research projects. Recently two bearing testers were built that allow for vertical, lateral, and impact loading capabilities in a dynamic single railroad bearing configuration. The newest single bearing test rig, built through a UTCRS funded project, provides a testing environment that more closely simulates the conditions experienced by railroad bearings in field service. The test rig will enable detailed laboratory testing that correlates realistic field service loading with railroad bearing temperature profiles. A better understanding of the correlation between loading conditions, including loads caused by defects, and temperature profiles at the bearing surface allows for greater predictive capabilities using wayside thermal detector data (e.g. data collected by Hot Box Detectors – HBDs). The data and correlations derived from the proposed in-depth thermal analysis will help identify key target areas for hot box detectors and greater understanding about the causes of particular thermal signatures detected. The impact on railway safety will be fewer temperature related failures that could potentially cause catastrophic derailments and fewer bearings pulled that do not pose a significant safety concern.
Keywords tapered roller bearing, health monitoring, temperature, vibration, four bearing test rig, single bearing test rig, dynamic testing, wayside thermal detector, hot box detector, HBD, thermal analysis
Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented) Place Any Photos Here Pending Project Completion.
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated) Pending Project Completion.
Report http://www.utrgv.edu/railwaysafety/_files/documents/research/mechanical/radiative-heat-transfer-analysis-of-railroad-bearings.pdf
Project Website http://www.utrgv.edu/railwaysafety/research/mechanical/2015/radiative-heat-transfer-analysis-of-railroad-bearings/index.htm