Technical Reports

Prediction of Rail Buckling - Recommendations for Development of Test Methods

  • 01
  • Mar
  • 1982
AUTHOR: Committee on Nondestructive Testing of Longitudinal Force in Rails
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/0RD-82/21
SUBJECT: Track
KEYWORDS: Continuously Welded Rail, Force, Track
ABSTRACT: Railroad track structure can buckle if excessive compressive force is developed due to a temperature increase. The resulting misalignment can be a significant cause of train accidents. There is no practical method for measuring the longitudinal force without disturbing the track. Physical phenomena were reviewed in an effort to establish a basis for measuring longitudinal force. Various nondestructive testing techniques were considered, and it was concluded that no one of them applied singly is capable of providing an unambiguous practical measurement. Short-, medium-, and longterm recommendations are made, and the continued development of two methods (rail vibration and a magnetic technique) is endorsed. Fundamental studies also are recommended to provide the basis for a model that will identify the influence of texture, cold work, and other metallurgical properties on the measured results. Three specific areas are identified as showing promise but in need of sustained research.

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