PRESSURE MEASUREMENTS IN RAILROAD TRACKBEDS AT THE RAIL/TIE INTERFACE USING TEKSCAN SENSORS

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PRESSURE MEASUREMENTS IN RAILROAD TRACKBEDS AT THE RAIL/TIE INTERFACE USING TEKSCAN SENSORS

Mensagem por Manuela » 05 Set 2016, 14:06

Autores: Dr. Jerry G. Rose e Jason C. Stith.

ABSTRACT:
It has been desirable for years to develop non-intrusive/non-invasive procedures to directly
measure pressures and stresses at various levels and interfaces in the railroad track structure in
order to optimize track designs and improve subsequent track performance. Recent research has
developed satisfactory procedures for measuring pressures in the track structure at the
ballast/subballast/subgrade levels using earth pressure cells. However, these type cells are not
applicable for measuring pressures within the rail base/tie plate/tie interfaces due to the inherent
thickness and configuration of the cells. This paper documents the recent development of a
technique for measuring the pressures in the track – at the rail/tie plate/tie interface – using a
very thin pressure sensitive Tekscan sensor. The Tekscan Measurement System uses a sensor
composed of a matrix-based array of force sensitive cells, similar to mini strain gauges, to obtain
accurate pressure distributions between two surfaces in the track. Included herein are
discussions and descriptions of 1) the proper procedure to calibrate the sensors in a laboratory
testing machine, 2) optimum procedure to install the sensors into the track, 3) recommended
practices to effectively collect data with the software, and 4) accepted techniques for analyzing
the results, 5) test results from numerous in-track tests under a variety of axle loadings, trackbed
conditions and supports, tie plate configurations and compositions, and train speeds. The
findings attest to the usefulness and practicality of the Tekscan system for accurately measuring
uniaxial vertical pressures in railroad tracks. The procedure appears applicable for a wide
variety of specific track related measurements to include: 1) analyzing pressure distribution
patterns at the rail base/tie plate/tie interfaces to minimize wear and extreme pressure points, 2)
validating and optimizing horizontal curve geometric design criteria relative to superelevation, 3)
assessing crossing diamond, other special trackwork, and bridge approach impact pressures, and
4) evaluating the advantages/disadvantages of various types of tie plates, fastenings, and tie
compositions with the objective of equalizing pressure distributions over the interface areas.

KEYWORDS:
Tekscan sensor, pressure measurements, railroad trackbeds, asphalt
underlayments, trackbed pressure distributions.
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