Thermal cracking of railway wheels, caused by intense heating due to heavy braking, can pose a significant risk. These cracks typically appear on the running surface and extend transversely and radially across the running surface. Whenever a crack appears on the outside of the rim, it should be sent to a workshop for thorough examination and subsequent repair or rejection.
In order to comply with the ISO 5948, FS308185 and ST308185 standards, it was necessary to develop a device capable of inspecting the running surface of a railway wheel. To achieve this, ultrasonic (UT) response simulations should be carried out to find the optimum transducer arrangement. It must also be applicable to a range of wheel diameters.
As a result of this project, an ultrasonic flaw detector has been developed, available in manual and automatic versions, the latter being integrated into an underfloor wheel lathe. It provides full coverage of the running surface and operates in pulse-echo and pitch-catch modes for transverse defect detection, reducing cycle time by up to 80%.
The final solution of this project has resulted in a highly innovative and marketable functional solution. By combining cutting-edge technologies, we have created a comprehensive solution that efficiently and effectively meets the market’s needs.