Advanced Neutral Temperature Estimation Using Solitary Waves (ANTEUSW)

This project will prove the concept of a new nondestructive evaluation (NDE) method to determine the rail neutral temperature (RNT) and the axial stress of continuous welded rails (CWRs). The method relies on the propagation of solitary waves (SWs) within a chain in contact with the rail to be inspected and reflected at the chain rail-web interface. The hypothesis is that the stress in the rail influences the amplitude and speed of the SWs propagating within the chain. If the research hypothesis is proven, the main outcome of this IDEA Transit project will be a new NDE method that may provide the necessary level of accuracy with minimum traffic disruption, and with a few measurements that do not require day-long observations under favorable weather, and without permanent wayside installations. The primary objectives of this project are the following: (1) The development of plug-and-play devices made of (a) a chain of spherical particles, hereinafter called the chain, able to support the propagation of SWs; (b) a trigger to excite the waves; (c) a sensor to measure the waves; (d) an ergonomic frame to encase the three components. (2) Testing the devices on thick straight beams subjected to thermal loading under laboratory conditions to evaluate the accuracy of the stress measurements and of the estimation of the beam neutral temperature. (3) Testing short rail segments under compression in the lab to proof the dynamical interplay between the propagation of SWs in the plug-and-play device and the stress in the rail.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-04, IDEA 86

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Safety Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA)

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Fitzpatrick, Velvet

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Pittsburgh

    Benedum Engineering Hall
    Pittsburgh, PA  United States  15261
  • Principal Investigators:

    Rizzo, Piervincenzo

  • Start Date: 20170802
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41867

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01643013
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-04, IDEA 86
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 2 2017 1:00AM