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The University of Southampton
nC2 An Enterprise Consultancy Unit

Applied Research for Perpetuum

A collaboration with Perpetuum Ltd started in 2012. The aims of this collaboration are to understand the failure mechanisms involved in rail axle bearings and to determine a correlation between the damages observed in bearings removed from service and the corresponding vibrations measured by the Perpetuum sensors during service on passengers’ trains.

The vibration data have been fully provided by the company and they constitute the company expertise. nC2 contribution was mainly to understand the mechanism of failure and the rate of propagation of the fatigue and wear mechanisms observed in the bearings monitored by our clients. Extensive characterizations have been carried out; for example Computed Tomography (CT), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), surface profilometry (e.g. Alicona and Talysurf) and extensive metallographic analysis and failure investigations.

This collaboration started with a 20 months secondment that enabled the company to train our member of staff. This initial collaboration was mainly funded by EPSRC (50k + 12k from Perpetuum) and it was followed by three more projects two of them funded by the company and another one fully funded by EPSRC.

 

During this collaboration we have published the following papers:

1. N. Symonds, I. Corni, R.J.K. Wood, A. Wasenczuk, D. Vincent, Observing early stage rail axle bearing damage. Engineering Failure Analysis 56 (2015) 216-232.

2. I. Corni, N. Symonds, R.J.K. Wood, A. Wasenczuk, D. Vincent, Real-time on-board condition monitoring of train axle bearings, Proceedings of the IMechE Stephenson Conference (2015).

3. I. Corni, N. Symonds, A. Wasenczuk, D. Vincent, On-board condition monitoring of rail axle bearings using vibrations, Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 2016, submitted.

and we have presented our findings at the following conferences:

1. N. Symonds, Observing early stage rail axle bearing damage. Oral presentation at the International Conference of Engineering Failure Analysis VI – Lisbon, Portugal, July 2014

2. I. Corni, Real time on-board condition monitoring of train axle bearings, oral presentation at The Stephenson Conference: research for railways, London, UK, April 2015.

3. A. Wasenczuk, Mapping of rolling contact fatigue of rail axle bearings, Oral presentation at the International Conference of Engineering Failure Analysis VII – Leipiz, Germany, July 2016

 

 

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