Other Reports

Conceptual Designs of a Passenger Rail Car Brake Shoe to Enhance Heat Dissipation

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 1996
AUTHOR: Technology & Management Systems, Inc.
SUBJECT: Braking Systems
KEYWORDS: Heat Transfer, Experimental Brake Designs, Railroad Technology
ABSTRACT: [From the Preface] This report is the ninth in a series of engineering studies on rail vehicle wheel performance. The series was started in response to high rates of cracking observed in the wheels of certain multiple unit (MU) power cars used in commuter service. One of the MU fleets, owned by New Jersey Transit Rail Operations (NJTRO), was originally equipped with tread brakes only and was operated at speeds up to 100 mph. Although that fleet is now being retrofitted with blended dynamic brakes, there was initially a strong interest in making improvements to the brake shoe as a means of reducing wheel tread temperature. NJTRO worked with a brake shoe supplier to reformulate the material composition, and one of the modified compositions was found to provide some temperature reduction without any sacrifice of stopping distance. This report summarizes the results of a conceptual design study that was conducted to assess the potential for improved cooling efficiency at the interface between the brake shoe and wheel tread. The principles of heat transfer were applied to evaluate several candidate design concepts involving changes of brake system configuration and/or brake shoe material to reduce the amount of heat conducted into the wheel rim. Three of the four concepts evaluated show some promise.