Technical Reports

Railroad Wheel Residual Stress Detection Program- An Evaluation of Residual Stress in Cast Steel Railroad Wheels using Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers (EMATS)

  • 01
  • Dec
  • 1998
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration: Dan Stone: Greg Garcia: Scott Burnett
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-30
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-99/06
SUBJECT: Rail and Infrastructure Integrity
KEYWORDS: EMAT; Piezoelectric; Ultrasonic
ABSTRACT: A nondestructive testing (NDT) method to determine the residual stress in the rims of cast steel railroad wheels has been evaluated by the Association of American Railroads (AAR). The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed an ultrasonic system which uses electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs) to determine the residual stress in cast steel railroad wheels. The system is designed to induce polarized shear waves into the rim of the wheel and measures the thickness averaged stress from the return sound signal. A similar ultrasonic system is commercially available in Europe and uses conventional piezoelectric transducers to measure the thickness averaged stress in rail and forged railroad wheels. These two ultrasonic systems were used during this project and the ultrasonic data obtained by the systems have been evaluated in this report.

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