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Development of components for an industry approved hollow-axle testing system

: Richter, C.; Fröhlich, M.; Scholz, H.; Meyendorf, N.

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South-African Insitute for Non-Destructive Testing -SAINT-:
18th World Conference on Non-Destructive Testing 2012. Proceedings. CD-ROM : WCNDT 2012, 16 - 20 April 2012, Durban, South Africa
Lynnwood Ridge: SAINT, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-620-52872-6
7 pp.
World Conference on Non-Destructive Testing (WCNDT) <18, 2012, Durban>
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IZFP, Institutsteil Dresden ( IKTS-MD) ()

High speed railway train systems are a growing transportation solution in the beginning of the twenty-first century. Special attention has to be paid to their structural security and reliability. The hollow-axles of trains are subjected to massive stress at speeds up to 500km/h. This constant stress damages the axles over time. Therefore, the axles must be inspected periodically to prevent failure. One of the most common testing techniques is ultrasonic inspection to detect cracking inside the hollow-axle.
An automated hollow-axle testing system built by an industrial partner needed completely new software and ultrasonic electronics. The testing system should be able to test hollow-axles of high speed trains such as ICE, Shinkansen, TGV and CRH in just a few minutes per axle. All testing data has to be stored for further analysis. The complete system has to operate in harsh environments and still provide reliable testing results. Based on the proven mechanical system for hollow-axle testing, a new electronics and software system was developed. The electronic system was derived from recently developed PCUS® pro ultrasonic electronics. This system is energy efficient, small and delivers clear images with highest signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In this configuration, the PCUS® pro can handle up to eight ultrasonic channels and is connected to the host PC via USB. The new software was developed using modern tools and techniques such as Scrum, Domain Driven Design and Test-Driven Development. All B-Scan, C-Scan and TD images are calculated in real time and are stored together with the raw measurement data. All demands were met, and many additional features Such as interaction in the inspection phase and post-processing were added to the software suite. In this paper we will show the testing system benefits, the developing challenges and the results of the worldwide use of our testing system.