Technical Reports

Research and Development of Ultrasonic Tomography Technology for Three-Dimensional Imaging of Internal Rail Flaws: Modeling and Simulation

  • 25
  • Apr
  • 2013
AUTHOR: Francesco Lanza di Scalea, Faye M. Reynolds, Piervincenzo Rizzo, Salvatore Salamone, and Ivan Bartoli
SUBJECT: Track, Tracks & Structures
KEYWORDS: High-speed rail, rail flaws, tomographic imaging, ultrasonic testing, Finite Element Analysis, digital signal processing
ABSTRACT: This report covers the work performed under the FRA High-Speed BAA 2010–2011 program to demonstrate the technology of ultrasonic tomography for 3-D imaging of internal rail flaws. There is a need to develop new technologies that are able to quantify characteristics of the internal rail flaws so as to ensure increased safety of rail transportation and reduced rail maintenance costs. In this work, ultrasonic tomography has been applied to the detection of a 5 percent rail head area (RHA) transverse defect in the railhead. This project has built finite element models of ultrasonic tomographic arrays on a flawed rail and identified an algorithm designed to perform the tomographic imaging of the internal rail flaw in 3-D and automatically. The results show excellent 3-D imaging performance with the proposed approach. The work therefore confirms the potential of the ultrasonic tomography technique for quantitative verification of internal rail flaws.