Technical Reports

Quantification of the Effectiveness of Handheld Equipment for Ground Verification of Detected Rail Internal Defects

  • 04
  • Apr
  • 2014
AUTHOR: Leith Al-Nazer (Federal Railroad Administration), Dr. Thomas Raslear (Federal Railroad Administration), Lucas R. Welander (Transportation Technology Center, Inc.)
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-14/07
SUBJECT: Rail and Infrastructure Integrity, Track, Tracks & Structures
KEYWORDS: Ultrasonic phased arrays, conventional ultrasonic, rail flaw sizing, nondestructive testing
ABSTRACT: The objective of this project was to quantify the effectiveness of the rail inspection ground verification process. More specifically, the project focused on comparing the effectiveness of conventional versus phased array probes to manually detect and size internal rail defects. Signal detection theory was used to quantify the effectiveness parameter. The results tentatively indicate that phased array technology has approximately the same sensitivity as conventional ultrasonic equipment, but there are preliminary indications that phased array technology may be more effective at sizing internal defects. However, follow-on studies with additional data collection are necessary in order to draw a more definitive conclusion.
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