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|NDT.net Issue - 2018-12 - NEWS |
Your Safety Is Riding on ItWhen passengers board a train, most don’t consider the amount of work that goes into inspecting key components to help ensure a safe ride. An essential tool in this inspection process is a phased array flaw detector that sends high-frequency sound waves from a probe into a component to look for defects. If the sound waves encounter a flaw, some of the sound energy gets reflected back to the probe. The flaw detector reads these signals and displays information that a trained inspector can use to assess the condition of the part.
From high-speed passenger trains to cargo-laden freight trains, the wheels, axles, and rails that support all railway traffic sustain an immense amount of stress. Heavy loads, speed, and friction combine to generate contact fatigue and damage in train wheelsets and rails. To avoid catastrophic failures that could lead to a crash or derailment, strict standards regulate the manufacturing and maintenance of rail parts.
Rail industry inspection standards are specific to the regulating body of the region where the manufacturing or maintenance takes place. The precision and detection demands vary from code to code. However, one aspect of code compliance seems to be consistent industry wide—manufacturers and maintenance companies prefer to exceed the requirements. They all tend to agree, the safer, the better.
Our phased array train inspection systems reflect this philosophy.
Ensuring Wheels, Axles, and Rails Surpass the Highest Safety Standards
The detection performance of our phased array systems for train inspection applications is designed to exceed the current requirements of the strictest international inspection codes. For example, according to certain codes, reprofile shops (where worn train wheels are machined so that they can be reused) and maintenance depots inspecting the wheels of high-speed bullet trains must be able to detect flaws (flat-bottom holes) as small as 2 mm (0.08 in.) at various depths beneath the tread surface. The sensitivity of the FOCUX PX™ phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) system surpasses this requirement. Not only that, its 2D array capability helps eliminate surface echoes, so the probability of detection for near-surface defects is higher. This is a vast improvement over conventional ultrasonic and 1D array systems.
Train wheel manufacturing and in-service inspection with the FOCUS PX phased array system
Solutions Tailored for Varying Train Inspection NeedsSince detection and precision requirements range from freight trains to high-speed bullet trains and change from region to region, train inspection solutions must adapt to customers’ current and future needs.
Code-Compliance without CompromiseBoth the FOCUS PX automated train wheel and axle inspection system and the in-line RIS for rail inspection are capable of reliable, code-compliant defect detection without sacrificing productivity. The number and configuration of the systems’ acquisition units can be optimized so that they meet the speed requirements while maintaining the desired detection performance.
The customizable, easily upgradable FOCUS PX and RIS phased array systems provide rail industry manufacturers and service facilities with the tools they need to reliably validate the integrity and security of train wheels, axles, and rails. Stringent, high-quality inspections help ensure railway passengers arrive safely at their destination.
Tags: Phased Array, Flaw Detection, Industrial Scanners, Safety
Source: InSight Blog Olympus NDT Applications Team - November 6, 2018