Technical Reports

Improved Roller Bearing Wayside Detection Research Phase III: System Evaluation Test

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 2001
AUTHOR: Gerald B. Anderson, James E. Cline, Richard L. Smith
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: Wayside Acoustic Bearing Detection, Railcar Roller Bearing Defects, Raceway Spalls, Water Etching, Loose Bearing Components, Spun Cones
ABSTRACT: In July 1999, Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), conducted Phase III of the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Improved Freight Car Roller Bearing Inspection Program (Task Order 122). Phase III, conducted at the Transportation Technology Center, Pueblo, Colorado included a series of simulated revenue service tests using a consist of eight railcars that contained wheelsets with both good bearings and specific roller bearing defects. The purpose of these tests was the evaluation of improved wayside acoustic bearing detection systems. TTCI was the only supplier of a prototype acoustic bearing detector system for evaluation — although several other suppliers participated by collecting onboard or wayside data, which may lead to other developments. The acoustic beating detector was developed as part of AAR's Track Performance Monitoring Strategic Initiative funded by AAR member railroads. Bearing defect types tested include raceway spalls (inner and outer ring, AAR condemnable and/or repairable), roller defects, water etching, loose backing rings, inner ring back face wear, and loose inner rings (spun cones). This report describes the test methodology and presents a general evaluation of the state of acoustic bearing detection based on the proprietary TTCI detector. The test was conducted as a blind test, with bearing defect types and locations unknown to the participants. Results were determined based on the blind test concept using expert knowledge. Subsequently, the defect types and location were revealed and an expert system model was made using that information. Both results are presented in this report.