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Project Objectives

The project's technical objectives are:
  • To overcome the limitations of current on-line detectors by developing an integrated system, based on high-frequency vibration analysis, acoustic emission and thermography techniques, for the accurate and reliable inspection of wheel sets of moving rolling stock.
  • To develop an on-line high-frequency vibration analysis module to be installed on railway tracks for the detection of shells, cracks and severe profile abnormalities in wheel sets.
  • To develop an on-line novel acoustic emission module as part of the integrated on line inspection system for detection of wheel flats and faulty wheel set bearings.
  • To develop an on-line thermography module capable of inspecting the quality of wheel sets for cracks, defects in the braking mechanisms and hot wheel set bearings.
  • To develop the required artificial intelligence, software and intelligent control unit to enable automatic analysis of the defects detected.
  • To overcome the limitations of existing inspection methodologies during wheel set production and maintenance by developing a combined ultrasonic phased array - ACFM inspection system with capability of automatically analysing the defects detected.
  • To develop novel ultrasonic phased arrays for detection of deep buried defects in wheel sets during production and maintenance.
  • To develop novel ACFM sensors for detection of surface-breaking defects on wheel sets during production and maintenance.
  • To develop novel software that will enable the automated operation of the UT-ACFM system.
Vlaamse Vervoermaatschappij De Lijn (Belgium) University of Birmingham (UK) Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade (Portugal) TWI Ltd (UK) SNCF (France) Feldman Enterprises LTD (Cyprus) TSC (UK) Envirocoustics S. A. (Greece) EMEF (Portugal) Alfa Products & Technologies (Belgium)Alfa Products & Technologies (Belgium) VTG Rail UK Ltd (UK)