Technical Reports

Acoustic Detection of Railcar Roller Bearing Defects: Phase II, Field Test

  • 01
  • Aug
  • 2003
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
KEYWORDS: Acoustic railroad bearing detection; tapered railroad roller bearings; railroad bearing defects; spalls; water etching; loose inner rings; roller defects
ABSTRACT: The Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Research and Test Department, conducted a series of simulated revenue service tests with a train of eight cars containing wheel sets with specific roller bearing defects and wheel sets with good bearings. Testing was completed to record acoustic emissions of the bearings as they passed an array of microphones mounted along the track. Tests were conducted at the Transportation Technology Center in November and December 1996. Data collected was processed, filtered only to improve data quality, and distributed on compact disks to all program participants. The database was established to encourage development of advanced roller bearing inspection systems for railroad implementation. Participants included several potential developers of detector systems. The bearing defect types tested include raceway spalls (inner and outer ring, single or in multiples), roller defects, water etching, and loose inner rings (spun cones). This report describes the test methodology, instrumentation, and operation, as well as providing a description of the database content.