Application of EMATs to In-Place Inspection of Railroad Rails

Date
1981-09-01
Authors
Maiseri, H.
MacLauchlan, D.
Alers, George
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Altmetrics
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Abstract

With the aging of the U.S. railroad system and the increased tonnage being moved, it is more important than ever to monitor the installed railroad track for defects whose growth could lead to track failure and derailments. Current ultrasonic inspection techniques utilize a liquid filled wheel to couple acoustic energy from several piezoelectric transducers into the rail at a variety of angles relative to the head of the rail. This approach limits the speed of inspection to approximately 10 mph, is very sensitive to the surface condition and orientation of the railhead and requires frequent maintenance stops. The feasibility of using EMATs to replace the water filled wheel transducers has been the purpose of this research effort at the Albuquerque Development Laboratory and was sponsored by the Department of Transportation with the cooperation of the Sperry Rail Service Division of Automation Industries, Inc.

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