Early interferometric detection of rolling contact fatigue induced micro-cracking in railheads

Jan Joannes Frederik van 't Oever, D. Thompson, F. Gaastra, H.A. Groendijk, Herman L. Offerhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

In the world of rail travel, unplanned track maintenance constitutes disruption and negatively impacts customer satisfaction. To maintain railway networks it is necessary to plan maintenance before it becomes critical, preferably by at least a year. A major concern in railway quality is the occurrence of micro-cracks in railhead surfaces, due to rolling contact fatigue. When these cracks are superficial, no more than about a millimeter in depth, the railhead lifetime can be increased by grinding or polishing. However, the deeper the cracks are, the sooner they will grow beyond a depth that can be managed by polishing. Current inspection techniques are able to detect millimeter sized cracks, but no smaller. We present a new technique for the detection of cracks in railheads, which is able to detect cracks of 20–100 µm depth optically, by way of broadband, spatially incoherent optical coherence tomography. Detection of micro-cracks at an earlier stage of development and the study of their progression will aid in advance planning and scheduling of maintenance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-19
JournalNDT & E international
Volume86
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

cracks
Fatigue of materials
Cracks
maintenance
Polishing
polishing
Railroad tracks
Customer satisfaction
Optical tomography
scheduling
rails
grinding
progressions
travel
planning
Rails
inspection
tomography
Inspection
Scheduling

Keywords

  • METIS-318948
  • IR-102140

Cite this

van 't Oever, Jan Joannes Frederik ; Thompson, D. ; Gaastra, F. ; Groendijk, H.A. ; Offerhaus, Herman L. / Early interferometric detection of rolling contact fatigue induced micro-cracking in railheads. In: NDT & E international. 2017 ; Vol. 86. pp. 14-19.
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Early interferometric detection of rolling contact fatigue induced micro-cracking in railheads. / van 't Oever, Jan Joannes Frederik; Thompson, D.; Gaastra, F.; Groendijk, H.A.; Offerhaus, Herman L.

In: NDT & E international, Vol. 86, 2017, p. 14-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - van 't Oever, Jan Joannes Frederik

AU - Thompson, D.

AU - Gaastra, F.

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AU - Offerhaus, Herman L.

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AB - In the world of rail travel, unplanned track maintenance constitutes disruption and negatively impacts customer satisfaction. To maintain railway networks it is necessary to plan maintenance before it becomes critical, preferably by at least a year. A major concern in railway quality is the occurrence of micro-cracks in railhead surfaces, due to rolling contact fatigue. When these cracks are superficial, no more than about a millimeter in depth, the railhead lifetime can be increased by grinding or polishing. However, the deeper the cracks are, the sooner they will grow beyond a depth that can be managed by polishing. Current inspection techniques are able to detect millimeter sized cracks, but no smaller. We present a new technique for the detection of cracks in railheads, which is able to detect cracks of 20–100 µm depth optically, by way of broadband, spatially incoherent optical coherence tomography. Detection of micro-cracks at an earlier stage of development and the study of their progression will aid in advance planning and scheduling of maintenance.

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