Design and optimization of Metallic Foam Shell protective device against flying ballast impact damage in railway axles

Gabriella Epasto, Fabio Distefano, Linxia Gu, Hozhabr Mozafari, Emanoil Linul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ballast impacts can initiate surface defects that cause abrupt failure of the axle and derailment of the railway vehicle. According to the Federal Railroad Administration the axle and bearing failure costs around 89 million dollars and causes 46 derailments in the US per year (2005–2010). In this study, the authors have suggested a novel protective mechanism (Metallic Foam Shell – MFS) by using a lightweight sandwich panel. At the first step, a preliminary study is conducted, followed up by the numerical simulations to determine the applicable materials. At the next step, experimental tests were performed to assess the efficiency of the suggested device against flying ballast impacts. An extended non-destructive (NDT) evaluation has been performed in order to find the most suitable technique for damage detection of the proposed device when on-service. The studied cases were GFRP and Aluminium sandwich panels, having an aluminium foam core with different densities and thicknesses. The results showed that the MFS can absorb up to 90% of the initial impact energy and significantly decrease the chance of rebounding impact to the other components. Moreover, the results were also analysed in order to propose the most reliable NDT method for this specific application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109120
JournalMaterials and Design
Volume196
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Ballast impact behaviour
  • Finite element analysis
  • Non-destructive evaluation
  • Protective sandwich structure
  • Railway axle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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