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Research Papers

Numerical Analysis and Experimental Validation of an Nondestructive Evaluation Method to Measure Stress in Rails

[+] Author and Article Information
Amir Nasrollahi

Laboratory for Nondestructive Evaluation and Structural Health Monitoring Studies,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
University of Pittsburgh,
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
e-mail: amn70@pitt.edu

Piervincenzo Rizzo

Laboratory for Nondestructive Evaluation and Structural Health Monitoring Studies,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
University of Pittsburgh,
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
e-mail: pir3@pitt.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received February 24, 2019; final manuscript received June 1, 2019; published online June 19, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Francesco Lanza di Scalea.

ASME J Nondestructive Evaluation 2(3), 031002 (Jun 19, 2019) (12 pages) Paper No: NDE-19-1011; doi: 10.1115/1.4043949 History: Received February 24, 2019; Accepted June 01, 2019

This article presents a numerical formulation and the experimental validation of the dynamic interaction between highly nonlinear solitary waves generated along a mono-periodic array of spherical particles and rails in a point contact with the array. A general finite element model of rails was developed and coupled to a discrete particle model able to predict the propagation of the solitary waves along a L-shaped array located perpendicular and in contact with the web of the rail. The models were validated experimentally by testing a 0.9-m long and a 2.4-m long rail segments subjected to compressive load. The scope of the study was the development of a new nondestructive evaluation technique able to estimate the stress in continuous welded rails and eventually to infer the temperature at which the longitudinal stress in the rail is zero. The numerical findings presented in this article demonstrate that certain features, such as the amplitude and time of flight, of the solitary waves are affected by the axial stress. The experimental results validated the numerical predictions and warrant the validation of the nondestructive evaluation system against real rails.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
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Copyright © 2019 by ASME
Topics: Stress , Waves , Rails
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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Schematics of the highly nonlinear solitary wave transducer implemented in the numerical model and (b) photograph of the transducer used in the experiment

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Fig. 2

Schematic of a rail model where a CWR is replaced with a simple fixed–fixed beam with initial imperfection

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Fig. 3

Free-body diagram of the ith particle along the elbow of the L-shaped chain

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the rail models implemented in this study: (a) 3.6-m long unconstrained rail and (b) 3.6-m long tied rail at 0.45 m (18 in.) spacing

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Fig. 5

Results of the numerical analysis. Time waveforms associated with an AREMA 132 rail: (a) 3.6-m long unconstrained rail, (b) 3.6-m long tied rail, and (c) 0.9 m long.

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Fig. 6

Numerical analysis. Waveforms measured at the center of the particle at the entrance of the elbow, i.e., on the vertical leg of the chain. (a) 3.6-m long unconstrained beam and (b) 0.9-m long unconstrained beam.

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Fig. 7

Numerical analysis. Solitary wave features as a function of the axial stress acting on a 3.6-m long unconstrained AREMA 132 rail. (a) PSW/ISW ratio, (b) SSW/ISW ratio, (c) TOF of PSW, and (d) TOF of SSW.

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Fig. 8

Numerical analysis. Solitary wave features as a function of the axial stress acting on a 3.6-m long tied AREMA 132 rail. (a) PSW/ISW ratio, (b) SSW/ISW ratio, (c) TOF of PSW, and (d) TOF of SSW.

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Fig. 9

Numerical analysis. Solitary wave features as a function of the axial stress acting on a 0.9-m long unconstrained AREMA 132 rail. (a) PSW/ISW ratio and (b) TOF of PSW.

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Fig. 10

Test setup for the 0.9-m long AREMA 132 rail: (a) a photograph of the position of the transducer, (b) the transducer in contact with the web of the rail, and (c) the hardware system running the transducer

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Fig. 11

Experimental results for the 0.9-m long AREMA 132 rail: (a) time waveform measured at zero axial stress, (b) the PSW/ISW ratio for different axial stresses, and (c) the time of flight of the waveforms for different axial stresses

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Fig. 12

Experimental results for the 2.4-m long AREMA 132 rail: (a) numerical time waveform for different axial stresses and (b) experimental time waveform for the rail under 30% of the buckling load

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Fig. 13

Numerical and experimental results relative to the AREMA 132 rail considered in this study and equivalent to a single beam of varying length and fixed–fixed end conditions. Axial stress as a function of (a) normalized amplitude and (b) time of flight.

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