The Feasibility of Promoting Local Rail Vibrations Using Electromechanical Impedance Method

The mission of this project is to serve the rail industry by improving infrastructure safety and reliability with minimized risks of internal rail defects and rail thermal buckling. The team will develop an electromechanical impedance (EMI) measurement system to promote local rail vibrations, which were recently found to be promising tools for both rail structural integrity inspection and RNT estimation. The local rail vibrations are the vibrational modes that are easy to promote, highly localized, and immune from boundary conditions. The fundamental mechanism of this phenomenon is deeply rooted from guided wave propagation in rails. Previously, local rail vibrations were promoted by impulse excitation, such as impactor and pulse laser, which lack a control flexibility on input energy and frequency. The team proposes to investigate the usage of EMI method for a consistent local rail vibration promotion, and successfully conducted preliminary numerical simulation to prove its feasibility. The proposed mission will be accomplished by developing an innovative capability of consistent excitation and detection of local rail vibrations, and advancing the state-of-the-art of rail defect detection rail neutral temperature (RNT) measurement.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $90000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Project Managers:

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Performing Organizations:

    Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    University of Utah
    Salt Lake City, UT  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Zhu, Xuan

  • Start Date: 20210924
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-672

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01787276
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 4 2021 2:50PM