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WIDEM Project Wheelset Integrated Design and Effective Maintenance

: Cervello, S.; Große-Hovest, M.

Sonsino, C.M. ; Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit -LBF-, Darmstadt:
4th Fraunhofer LBF Meeting on Structural Durability in Railway Engineering 2006 : Darmstadt, 16.05. - 17.05.2006; Proceedings
Darmstadt: LBF, 2006 (LBF-Bericht 230)
Meeting in Structural Durability in Railway Engineering <4, 2006, Darmstadt>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer LBF ()
Schienenfahrzeug; Radsatz; design; Lastkollektiv; zerstörungsfreie Prüfung

The economic efficiency and competitiveness of the rail transportation mode depends on safety, availability and maintenance of its individual highly loaded components such as railway wheelsets.
The WIDEM research project, funded by European Community in the 6° Framework Program, aims to improve efficiency and competitiveness through a fundamental re-examination of wheelset design, which in turn will facilitate improved maintenance practices.
Combining inputs from reliable service measurement of wheel-rail forces carried out by means of an innovative instrumented wheelset and extensive assessment of actual material properties, an original endurance strength design concept is developed and validated through a comprehensive testing programme on full scale wheelset prototypes.
A flexible multi-body numerical tool is also proposed to address high dynamic loading conditions in presence of wheel/rail discontinuities like wheel flats or switches. In this way possible exceptional loads linked to possible geometrical irregularities ere considered in the evaluation of the life load spectra.
Additionally, the project addresses NDT (non-destructive testing) techniques applying methods to evaluate the crack size probability of detection (POD).
Such information together with results from full-scale crack propagation tests and measured load spectra will be the basis for setting up a schedule for NDT periodicity inspection.
The research work will lead to the definition of wheelset design and testing procedures and maintenance methods to be implemented into existing standards.
The paper gives an overview of the various activities that are in progress in the WIDEM project.