Location

La Jolla, CA

Start Date

1-1-1987 12:00 AM

Description

The use of welded joints in railroad tracks has led to problems of rail buckling brought about by the development of large compressive stresses during hot days. On cold days, tensile stresses can actually fracture the rail. In order to prevent this source of derailments, it is desirable to develop an easily used instrument to measure the level of stress in an arbitrary section of track in the field. Ultrasonic birefringence, acoustic emission and certain magnetic phenomena have all been used to attack this problem but they all suffer from the necessity for calibrating the sensor under stress-free conditions in order to correct for metallurgical structure variations. A new ultrasonic technique based on using surface skimming shear horizontal ultrasonic waves generated and detected by EMATs was investigated here because it rigorously eliminates the effects of metallurgical texture as well as unreliable coupling of the transducer to the part. Tests on sections of rail mounted in a 200,000 pound testing machine at the University of New Mexico demonstrated that the theory for the basic phenomenon is correct and that the stress level can be measured in spite of the presence of considerable texture in the rail microstructure.

Book Title

Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation

Volume

6B

Chapter

Chapter 8: Materials Characterization

Section

Acoustoelasticity, Stress, and Texture

Pages

1559-1566

DOI

10.1007/978-1-4613-1893-4_175

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Measurement of Thermal Stress in Railroad Rails Using Ultrasonic SH Waves

La Jolla, CA

The use of welded joints in railroad tracks has led to problems of rail buckling brought about by the development of large compressive stresses during hot days. On cold days, tensile stresses can actually fracture the rail. In order to prevent this source of derailments, it is desirable to develop an easily used instrument to measure the level of stress in an arbitrary section of track in the field. Ultrasonic birefringence, acoustic emission and certain magnetic phenomena have all been used to attack this problem but they all suffer from the necessity for calibrating the sensor under stress-free conditions in order to correct for metallurgical structure variations. A new ultrasonic technique based on using surface skimming shear horizontal ultrasonic waves generated and detected by EMATs was investigated here because it rigorously eliminates the effects of metallurgical texture as well as unreliable coupling of the transducer to the part. Tests on sections of rail mounted in a 200,000 pound testing machine at the University of New Mexico demonstrated that the theory for the basic phenomenon is correct and that the stress level can be measured in spite of the presence of considerable texture in the rail microstructure.