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Detectionofearlysquats

byaxleboxacceleration

MariaMolodova

Detectionofearlysquats
byaxleboxacceleration

Proefschrift
terverkrijgingvandegraadvandoctor
aandeTechnischeUniversiteitDelft,
opgezagvandeRectorMagnificusprof.ir.K.C.A.M.Luyben,
voorzittervanhetCollegevoorPromoties,
inhetopenbaarteverdedigenopwoensdag9january2013om12:30uur

doorMARIAMOLODOVA
MasterofMechanics,LobachevskyStateUniversityofNizhnyNovgorod,Russia
geborenteNizhnyNovgorod,Russia

Ditproefschriftisgoedgekeurddoordepromotor:
Prof.dr.ir.
R.P.B.J.Dollevoet
Copromotor

Dr.ir.Z.Li

Samenstellingpromotiecommissie:
RectorMagnificus,
Prof.dr.ir.R.P.B.J.Dollevoet,
Dr.ir.Z.Li,
Prof.dr.ir.J.G.Rots,
Prof.dr.ir.B.DeSchutter,
Prof.ir.A.Q.C.vanderHorst,
Ir.T.Sysling,
Prof.N.Bowring,
Prof.Dr.Ir.L.J.Sluys,

voorzitter
TechnischeUniversiteitDelft,promotor
TechnischeUniversiteitDelft,copromotor
TechnischeUniversiteitDelft
TechnischeUniversiteitDelft
TechnischeUniversiteitDelft
ProRail
ManchesterMetropolitanUniversity
TechnischeUniversiteitDelft,reservelid

Publishedanddistributedby:
MariaMolodova
Email:m.molodova@gmail.com
RoadandRailwayEngineeringSection
FacultyofCivilEngineeringandGeosciences
DelftUniversityofTechnology
P.O.Box5048
2600GADelft
TheNetherlands
ISBN 9789462032736
Coverdesign:MariaMolodova
Printing:WohrmannPrintService,Zutphen,theNetherlands
Copyright:2012MariaMolodova
Allrightsreserved.Nopartofthispublicationmaybereproduced,storedinaretrieval
systemortransmittedinanyformorbyanymeans,electronic,mechanical,photocopying,
recording,orotherwisewithoutthepriorpermissionoftheproprietor.

Idedicatethisdissertationtomyparents,YuliaandVladimir

Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments
After I have accomplished my PhD research in the Road and Railway Engineeringgroup of
theDelftUniversityofTechnology(TUDelft)Iwouldliketothankeveryonewhohasbeen
helpingmeforallthistime.
I would like to thank my daily supervisor and copromoter, associate professor Zili Li, who
gavemetheopportunitytocometoDelftandguidedmethroughallstagesofmyPhD.My
researchbenefitedalotfromhisexperienceinrailwayengineering,hiscriticalreviewsand
valuablesuggestions.
I am grateful to my promoter, Professor Rolf Dollevoet, for his cooperation during my
researchproject.IwouldalsoliketoexpressmygratitudetoProfessorAndrMolenaar,who
wasmypromoterforseveralyears,forsharingwithmehisacademicexperience.Iamalso
grateful to Professor Coenraad Esveld for supervising me during the first year of my PhD
study.
I would like to acknowledge Ton Weel, Roland Bongenaar, Gert Jansen from Eurailscout;
Hans van der Vecht from CaubergHuygen Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV; Robbie Klein
Wolterink from Klein Wolterink Automation; and Jan Moraal from TU Delft for their
cooperationincollectingtheaxleboxaccelerationdataforthisresearch.
MyspecialthanksgotoXinZhaoforourinsightfuldiscussionsonsquatsandfiniteelement
modelling. I would also like to thank Nico Burgelman for translating the summary of this
thesisintoDutch.
I am very grateful to the secretary of Road and Railway Engineering group of TU Delft,
Jacqueline Barnhoorn for her daily assistance in various issues. I am also grateful to the
formersecretarySonjavandenBosandformermanagerAbdolMiradi.
I would like to thank my colleagues, Valry, Maider, Nico, Milliyon, Xin, Mingliang,
Mohamad, Chang, Mauricio, Shaoguang, and my officemates Pengpeng and Gang, who
mademyworkatTUDelftpleasant.MyspecialgratitudegoestomyformercolleaguesIvan
Shevtsov and Maryam Miradi for their generous support during my first year in the
Netherlands.
I owe deep gratitude to my friend Ilia Korjoukov for encouraging me, giving me the
inspiration,sharinghisideasonmyresearchandevencorrectingthismanuscript.Without
hissupportIwouldneverhavereachedthis.

Acknowledgments

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my parents, Yulia and Vladimir, who
encouragedmetofollowmyPhDstudyandsupportedmethroughalltheyearsIspentin
theNetherlands.TothemIdedicatethisthesis.

ii

Summary

Summary
This thesis discusses a new method for detection of short track irregularities, particularly
squats,withaxleboxacceleration(ABA)measurements.
Asquatisasurfaceinitiatedshorttrackdefect,associatedwithhighfrequencyvibrationsof
the wheelrail system. High stresses in the contact patch at squats cause accumulation of
plastic deformation of the rail and growth of cracks. Cracks growing in the subsurface can
causearailfracture.Lightsquatscanbetreatedbygrindingoftherailsurface;whilemature
squats lead to replacement of the rail section. For cost effective maintenance policy and
operationalsafetysquatsshouldbedetectedatanearlystage.Detectionoflightsquatsis
themainaimofthisstudy.
Till now, ultrasonic measurements have been mainly used for detection of squats. By that
methodthedepthofcracksismeasured;hence,itisapplicableonlytodetectionofsevere
squats with sufficiently large cracks. In the present work, ABA measurements were
employed.TheadvantagesassociatedwiththismethodarethatABAmeasurementscanbe
performedonstandardoperatingvehiclestravellingwithusualtrafficspeedsandsquatscan
bedetectedattheirearlystage.
ThefirstgoalofthisstudywastofindarelationshipbetweensquatsandABAcharacteristics,
suchasmagnitudeandfrequencycontent,andapplythemfordetectionofsquats.Tothis
end,athreedimensionalfiniteelement(FE)modelwasappliedfordynamicsimulationsof
the wheeltrack interaction in the high frequency range. By parameter variation, the
influenceofthegeometryofsquats,speedofthetrainandlocationofthesquatsrelativeto
the sleepers on ABA characteristics was studied. Local frequency characteristics of ABA at
squatswereobtainedandtheirrelationwiththeseverityofsquatswasestablished.These
frequencycharacteristicscanbeappliedfordetectionofsquatsandtheirassessment.
The second goal was to improve the signaltonoise ratio of ABA measurements to enable
detection of light squats. Several methods to improve signaltonoise ratio of ABA
measurements were suggested. These included noise reduction techniques, reduction of
disturbances from the wheel defects and signal enhancement by improvement of the
measuring system by using longitudinal ABA. Owing to the improvement of the signalto
noiseratio,thehitrateofmoderatesquatsincreasedfrom60%to100%andthehitrateof
lightsquatstogetherwithtrivialdefects1increasedfrom57%to85%.Sincelightsquatsare

Trivialdefectsaresmallrailsurfacedefectswhicharesosmallthattheywillbewornaway,andwilltherefore
notgrowintosquats.

iii

Summary

largerthantrivialdefectsand,therefore,easiertodetect,thehitrateoflightsquats,which
dependsonthethresholdthatseparateslightsquatsfromtrivialdefects,ishigher.
Thethirdgoalwastodevelopanalgorithmforautomaticdetectionofsquats,whichenables
continuousanalysisoftrack.Theinitialresultsindicatedthat78%oflightsquatsandtrivial
defectscanbedetectedautomaticallybyABA.Thehitrateofseveresquatswas100%.
The presented ABA method enables automatic detection of squats at their earliest stage,
whenpreventiveandearlycorrectiveactionscanbetaken.Theemploymentofsuchmethod
cansignificantlyreducelifecyclecostsofatrackinfectedbysquats.

iv

Samenvatting

Samenvatting
Deze thesisbehandeldeen nieuwe methode voor de detectie van kleine oneffenheden op
despoorstaaf,inhetbijzondersquats,metbehulpvanmetingenvandeaspotversnellingen
(AxleBoxAccelerations,ABA).
Een squat is een gebrek aan de spoorstaaf dat ontstaat in het spoorstaafoppervlak, het
wordtgelinktmethoogfrequentetrillingeninhetwiel/spoorsysteem.Dehogespanningen
in het contactoppervlak tussen wiel en spoorstaaf ter hoogte van de squats, veroorzaken
een accumulatie van plastische vervorming en scheurgroei in de spoorstaaf. Lichte squats
kunnen weggewerkt worden door het spoorstaafoppervlak te slijpen,bij volgroeide squats
moeteenstukspoorstaafvervangenworden.Omeenkostenefficintepolitiektevoerenen
de operationele veiligheid te garanderen moeten squats op tijd gedetecteerd worden. De
detectievanlichtesquatsishetbelangrijkstedoelvandezestudie.
Tot nog toe werden vooral ultrasone metingen gebruikt voor de detectie van squats. Die
methode meet de diepte van de scheuren, daarom is deze methode alleen geschikt voor
volgroeide squats die voldoende grote scheuren bevatten. In deze studie worden ABA
metingen gebruikt. Het voordeel is dat de ABA kunnen gemeten worden op gewone
diensttreinenaannormalesnelheid,zokunnensquatsgedetecteerdwordenhuneenvroeg
stadium.
De eerste stap was om een relatie te vinden tussen de squats en de gemeten ABA
karakteristieken, zoals amplitude en frequentieinhoud, deze relatie kan dan aangewend
wordenvoordedetectievansquats.Hiervoorwerdeendriedimensionaaleindigeelementen
(Finite Elements, FE) model ontwikkeld, dat kan gebruikt worden om de interactie tussen
wiel en spoorstaaf te simuleren in het hoogfrequente gebied. De invloed op de ABA
karakteristiekenvandegeometrievandesquats,desnelheidvandetreinendepositievan
desquatstenopzichtevandedwarsliggers,werdbestudeerd.Delokalekarakteristiekenvan
de ABA rond de squats werden gerelateerd aan de ernst van de squats. Deze
frequentiekarakteristiekenkunnendanaangewendwordenomsquatstedetecterenenhun
ernsttebepalen.
DetweedestapwasomdesignaalruisverhoudingvanhetABAsignaalteverbeterenzodat
ook lichte squats gedetecteerd kunnen worden. Er werden verschillende methodes
gesuggereerd om de signaalruis verhouding te verbeteren: ruisreductie technieken,
reductie van storingen door wielgebreken, verbetering van het meetsysteem en signaal
opwaardering door het gebruik van longitudinale ABA. Door deze verbeteringen in de
signaalruisverhoudingishetpercentagemiddelmatigesquatsdatgedetecteerdkanworden

Samenvatting

gestegen van 60 tot 100%. Het trefpercentage voor lichte squats samen met onschuldige
gebreken1isgestegenvan57tot85%.Lichtesquatszijngroterdanonschuldigegebrekenen
daardoor gemakkelijker te detecteren, daarom is het trefpercentage voor lichte squats
hoger. Dit trefpercentage is afhankelijk van de drempel die gehanteerd wordt om licht
squatsvanonschuldigegebrekenteonderscheiden.
Dederdestapwaseenalgoritmeteontwikkelendatdieautomatischedetectievansquats
mogelijk maakt, dat maakt doorlopende analyse van het spoor mogelijk. De eerste
resultatenwijzenerop dat 78% van de lichtesquats en onschuldigegebreken automatisch
kunnenopgespoordworden.Hettrefpercentagevoorzwaresquatsis100%.
Degepresenteerdemethodelaattoesquatstedetectereninhunvroegstestadium,optijd
ompreventieveencorrectievemaatregelentenemen.Detoepassingvandezemethodekan
totalelevenskostenvaneenspoormetsquatssignificantverlagen.

Onschuldigegebrekenzijngebrekenophetspoorstaafoppervlak,diezokleinzijndatzezullenwegslijtenen
dusniettotsquatszullenuitgroeien

vi

Abbreviations

Abbreviations
ABA
RCF
FE
3D
STFT
CWT
PSD
WPS
SAWP
RMS

axleboxacceleration
rollingcontactfatigue
finiteelement
threedimensional
shorttimeFouriertransform
continuousFouriertransform
powerspectraldensity
waveletpowerspectrum
scaleaveragedwaveletpower
rootmeansquareerror

vii

viii

Tableofcontents

Tableofcontents
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS....................................................................................................I
SUMMARY..................................................................................................................III
SAMENVATTING..........................................................................................................V
ABBREVIATIONS........................................................................................................VII
1. INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................1
1.1. Trackdefects........................................................................................................1
1.2. Squats...................................................................................................................2
1.2.1. Characteristicsofsquats..........................................................................2
1.2.2. Historicalbackground..............................................................................3
1.2.3. Initiationofsquats...................................................................................4
1.2.4. Growthofsquats......................................................................................5
1.3. Detectionandassessmentofshorttrackirregularities.......................................6
1.3.1. Feasibilityoftrackinspectionmethodsforearlydetectionofsquats.....6
1.3.2. Noveltyofthecurrentresearch...............................................................8
1.3.2.1 Periodicorisolateddefects.......................................................8
1.3.2.2 Frequencyrange........................................................................8
1.3.2.3 Localcharacteristicsofshortirregularities.............................10
1.4. Researchapproach.............................................................................................10
1.5. Chapteroutline...................................................................................................12
2. FEASIBILITYSTUDYOFABAMEASUREMENTSFOREARLYDETECTIONOFSQUATS13
2.1. Introduction........................................................................................................13
2.2. Trialmeasurements............................................................................................13
2.2.1. Instrumentationsetup...........................................................................13
2.2.2. Trackdefects..........................................................................................14
2.2.2.1 IRIS...........................................................................................14
2.2.2.2 Monitoring...............................................................................14
ix

Tableofcontents

2.2.3. MeasurementsinZuidHolland..............................................................16
2.2.4. MeasurementsinWeert........................................................................17
2.3. Detectionofsquats............................................................................................17
2.4. RelationbetweenABAandsizeofasquat........................................................19
2.5. Timefrequencytechniques...............................................................................20
2.6. Conclusions.........................................................................................................22
3. FEMODELLINGOFABAANDVALIDATION.............................................................24
3.1. Introduction........................................................................................................24
3.2. FEmodel.............................................................................................................25
3.2.1. Geometry................................................................................................25
3.2.2. Solutionprocedure.................................................................................27
3.2.3. Lengthofthemodelledtrack.................................................................28
3.3. Simulationofarailsurfacedefectwithuniformlateralprofile........................28
3.3.1. Artificialdefect.......................................................................................28
3.3.2. DependenceofABAonverticallongitudinalprofileofdefect..............30
3.3.3. ComparisonwithmeasuredABA...........................................................31
3.3.4. FrequencycontentofABAatthedefect................................................33
3.4. SimulationofaclassCsquat..............................................................................35
3.4.1. Geometryofasquat...............................................................................35
3.4.2. ComparisonwithmeasuredABA...........................................................36
3.4.3. InfluenceoftheverticallongitudinalprofileofthesquattoABA.........37
3.4.4. FrequencycontentofABAatthesquat.................................................39
3.5. Conclusions.........................................................................................................41
4. SIGNATURETUNESOFSQUATS.............................................................................43
4.1. Introduction........................................................................................................43
4.2. Variationofdefectsgeometry..........................................................................43
4.2.1. Modellingofdefects..............................................................................43
4.2.2. ABAatvariedgeometryofshorttrackdefects......................................46

Tableofcontents

4.2.3. PSDofABAatarangeofdefectsizes....................................................48
4.3. Variationoftrainspeed......................................................................................50
4.3.1. Geometryofthemodelleddefect.........................................................50
4.3.2. ABAwithvariedspeed...........................................................................51
4.3.2.3 ABAwavelength......................................................................51
4.3.2.4 ABAmagnitude........................................................................52
4.3.3. PSDofABAwithvariedspeed................................................................53
4.4. Variationoflocationofasquat..........................................................................53
4.5. Trackparameters...............................................................................................56
4.5.1. Frequencyresponsefunctionofthetrack.............................................56
4.5.1.1 FEmodel..................................................................................56
4.5.1.2 Classificationofthetrackvibrationmodes.............................57
4.5.1.3 Modesofvibrations.................................................................58
4.5.1.4 Validationofthefrequencyresponsefunction.......................60
4.5.2. Relationbetweensignaturetunesofsquatsandtrackparameters......61
4.6. Conclusions.........................................................................................................62
5. ASSESSMENTOFSEVERITYOFSQUATSBYABA.....................................................64
5.1. Introduction........................................................................................................64
5.2. Regressionanalysis.............................................................................................64
5.3. Data....................................................................................................................65
5.4. RelationbetweenthesquatandABAmagnitude..............................................67
5.4.1. Defectswithbatterededges..................................................................67
5.4.2. Alldefects...............................................................................................69
5.4.3. Reducedmodel.......................................................................................70
5.5. RelationbetweenthesquatandthepowerspectrumofABA..........................71
5.5.1. Defectswithbatterededges..................................................................72
5.5.2. Alldefects...............................................................................................72
5.6. ValidationoftheRegressionModels.................................................................74
5.6.1. ValidationofrelationbetweenABAmagnitudeandsquats..................75
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Tableofcontents

5.6.2. ValidationofrelationbetweenPSD300Hzandsquats..............................77
5.7. Conclusions.........................................................................................................78
6. IMPROVEMENTSOFTHEABAMEASURINGSYSTEM..............................................79
6.1. Introduction........................................................................................................79
6.2. Wheelvibrations................................................................................................79
6.2.1. Modesofvibrationofthewheel............................................................79
6.2.2. Transferfunction....................................................................................81
6.3. ABAmeasurementswithimprovedinstrumentation........................................83
6.4. ImprovementofsignalprocessingofABA.........................................................84
6.4.1. Noisereduction......................................................................................84
6.4.2. Effectofnoisereductiononthedetectionoflightsquats....................85
6.4.3. ReductionoftheinfluenceofwheelsdefectonABA...........................87
6.5. Hitrateoflightsquats........................................................................................90
6.6. Conclusions.........................................................................................................90
7. AUTOMATICDETECTIONOFSQUATS....................................................................91
7.1. Introduction........................................................................................................91
7.2. Validationofsignaturetunesofsquats.............................................................91
7.2.1. Smallrailsurfacedefects.......................................................................91
7.2.2. Lightsquats............................................................................................92
7.2.3. Moderateandseveresquats.................................................................93
7.3. Signaturetunesofothershorttrackirregularities............................................95
7.3.1. Insulatedjoints.......................................................................................95
7.3.2. Thermitewelds.......................................................................................96
7.4. Automaticdetection..........................................................................................97
7.4.1. Scaleaveragedwaveletpower...............................................................97
7.4.2. Evaluationofprediction.........................................................................98
7.4.3. Detectionprocedure..............................................................................98
7.4.4. Prediction.............................................................................................101

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7.4.4.1 Detectionoflightsquats.......................................................101
7.4.4.2 Severesquats.........................................................................102
7.5. Conclusions.......................................................................................................104
8. CONCLUSIONSANDRECOMMENDATIONS..........................................................105
8.1. Conclusions.......................................................................................................105
8.1.1. Frequencycharacteristicsofsquats.....................................................105
8.1.2. Assessmentofseverityofsquats.........................................................105
8.1.3. Speeddependency...............................................................................106
8.1.4. Wheelstate..........................................................................................106
8.1.5. Trackparameters.................................................................................106
8.1.6. Improvementofsignaltonoiseratio..................................................107
8.1.6.1 Instrumentation.....................................................................107
8.1.6.2 Signalprocessing...................................................................107
8.1.7. Automaticdetectionofsquats.............................................................107
8.2. Recommendations...........................................................................................108
9. REFERENCES........................................................................................................109
CURRICULUMVITAE..................................................................................................116
RELEVANTPUBLICATIONS.........................................................................................117

xiii

Introduction

1. INTRODUCTION
Condition monitoring of the railway track is very important for timely maintenance.
Therefore, many methods for detection of track irregularities have been developed. The
objectiveofthisresearchistoinvestigatethepossibilityofearlyandautomaticdetectionof
local isolated short track irregularities. The study is focused on detection of squats. This
chapterreviewsthemainstudiesonsquatsthathavebeenmadesofar.Then,anoverview
ofmethodsfordetectionandassessmentofshorttrackirregularitiesismade.
1.1. TRACKDEFECTS
In recent years railways have experienced significant changes in the vehicletrack
interaction,causedbytheincreaseinaxleloadandoperationalspeed.Theconsequencesof
thesechangesarehigherstressesatthewheelrailinterface.Thesituationisaggravatedby
trackirregularities.
Track irregularities associated with low frequency vibrations may cause discomfort to
passengersanddamagestocargo.Suchirregularities,whichnormallyhavealengthlonger
than3metersareoftencalledlongtrackirregularities.Examplesoflongtrackirregularities
includepoortrackalignments,switches,levelcrossingsandbridges.
Trackirregularitiesshorterthanabout3mareoftenreferredtoasshorttrackirregularities.
Examplesofshorttrackirregularitiesincludesquats,corrugation,thermiteweldswithpoor
finishing quality, insulated joints, blades and frogs of switches and crossings (Figure 1.1).
Theycancauselargedynamiccontactforcesandwheelrailvibrationsinthemidandhigh
frequency ranges. According to [1] the midfrequency range is 40400 Hz and the high
frequencyrangeis4002000Hzorevenhigher.
Short track irregularities are detrimental to the wheelrail interface and the track
infrastructureduetotheimpactingnatureoftheinteraction.Excessivecontactforcescause
increaseofstressesinthecontactpatchandaccumulationofplasticdeformationoftherail.
Moreover, they lead to initiation and propagation of cracks, damages in the track
infrastructuresuchasfasteningandsleepers,fastdeteriorationofthetrackandrollingnoise
emission. Deterioration of the track influences the operational safety, since the growth of
cracks,ifnotcontrolled,maycauserailfracture.
Whendamageoftherailexceedsacertainvalue,therailshouldbereplaced,whichinvolves
highmaintenancecostsandreducestheavailabilityofthenetwork.However,ifdamageis
detectedatapropertime,lowcostpreventivemaintenanceactions,likegrindingoftherail,

Chapter1

may be taken. Hence, measurements which are appropriate for diagnosis of the track
technicalstateareneeded.

(a)Squat

(b)Corrugation

(c)Insulatedjoint

(d)Twosquatsinitiatedatathermiteweld

Figure1.1Shorttrackirregularities.

1.2. SQUATS
Asquatisoneofthemostdangerousshorttrackirregularities.Atanearlystagesquatscan
betreatedbygrindingofathinlayerfromtherailsurface.Atthelatestagesquatsalways
leadtorailreplacement.Ifnottreatedintime,thecracksmaygrowinthesubsurfaceand
causerailbreak.Therefore,forcosteffectivemaintenancepolicysquatsshouldbedetected
atanearlystage.Earlydetectionofsquatsisthefocusofthisstudy.
1.2.1. Characteristicsofsquats
Squatsaregenerallyconsideredassurfaceinitiateddefects[2].Squatscanbeclassifiedas
being light, moderate and severe, or class A, B, and C correspondingly [3], see Figure 1.2.
Lightsquatsarealsocalledearlysquats,initiatingsquats,orsquatsseeds.
Aseveresquatisnormallycharacterizedbylocalizeddepressionofthecontactsurfaceofthe
rail head that can have a shape of two lungs, accompanied by a dark spot with V, U, Y or
circularshapedcracks[4].Itisbelievedthatthecracksareinitiatedinthesurface[4].These
crackspropagateinsidetherailheadatashallowangletothesurface,andgrowtillabout3
6 mm deep in the subsurface, before they branch downward transversely [5]. Another
characteristiciswideningoftherunningband,asaresultofplasticdeformationcausedby
theimpactwheelrailinteraction.
2

Introduction

At the light stage squats usually do not bear these characteristics that are typical of
moderate and severe squats. At the last stage the lung shape might become less obvious,
butthenearlycircularboundaryduetothewideningoftherunningbandcanstillbeseen
[4].Thecracksmaybecomemorevisibleinthesurface.
classA

Wavepattern

(a)Light

classC

Cracks

Crack

classB

(b)Moderate

Wavepattern

(c)Severe

Figure1.2Squats:classAlight,classBmoderate,andclassCsevere.

1.2.2. Historicalbackground
Asquatisatypeofrollingcontactfatigue(RCF)damage.ItwasfirstreportedinJapaninthe
1950s[4],[6].Inthe1970ssquatsbecameknownintheUK[7].InFrancetheywerereported
intheearlyeighties[8].
To understand the squats phenomena, research on squats has been carried out over the
past decades in several countries. In Japan, Masumoto et al. [9] attempted to reproduce
squats through RCF tests. The test setup consisted of two discs rotating in the opposite
direction.Slippingonthecontactsurfaceswasgeneratedbyadifferenceincircumferential
speed.Anormalloadwasappliedtorepresentthewheelload.Theresultingdefects(squats
andheadchecks)weresimilartothosefoundontherunningsurface.Thedefectsinitiated
onthecontactsurface;fortheirinitiationtangentialcomponentoftheloadwasnecessaryin
additiontothenormalload.Theeffectofmicrostructureofrailsteelsontheinitiationand
propagationofcrackswasalsoinvestigated.
Kondo et al. [5] discussed hypotheses for causes of the Shinkansen rail surface shelling,
which was similar to squats. They mentioned the following causes of such phenomenon:
dents due to entrapped solids between wheel and rail, deformation of the rail top due to
rollingofthewheels,highdynamicloadfromwheelflatsandincreasedwheeltorque.The
formationandgrowthofthecrackswasalsoconsidered.
Ishida et al. [10] studied the effect of preventive grinding on reduction of the number of
squats. The study combined theoretical modelling, laboratory experiments with twin disc
machineandfieldtests.Theyobservedthatthenumberofsquatswasdecreasingasaresult
ofgrinding.

Chapter1

IntheUK,ClaytonandHill[11]investigatedRCFbehaviourunderwaterlubricatedcondition
throughalaboratorytest.Theresultsofthetestshowedplasticdeformationonthesurface
andsurfaceinitiatedcracksinthespecimen,similartotheonesatsquats.
Boldetal.[12]studiedthesurfaceinitiatedcracksgrowingatashallowangletothesurface
whichappearatsquats.Theloading,experiencedbyRCFcracksandthegrowthrateofthe
crackswerecalculated.
Cannon and Pradier [13] presented a review of an RCF research program of the European
RailResearchInstitutestartedin1987.Thepurposeoftheprogramwastounderstandthe
RCFproblemanddevelopmeanstocontroloreliminateit.Theprograminvolvedtheoretical
analyses,laboratoryandfieldtests.TheauthorsindicatedfactorssignificantforRCF,suchas:
head hardened rails showed improved fatigue resistance, while lubrication of the rails
encouragedthedevelopmentofcracks.
Bogdanskietal.in[14]introduced2Dmodellingofasquattypecrack,wheretheinfluence
ofcrackinclinationangle,residualstresses,tractionloadandtheliquidtrappedinthecrack
werestudied.In[15]Bogdanskietal.presenteda3Dfiniteelementmodelofasquattype
crack.Thestressstateinthevicinityofthecrackfrontwasdeterminedandthevaluesand
ranges of the stress intensity factors at the crack front were calculated. In his later paper
Bogdanski et al. [16] studied the liquid entrapment mechanism for a squattype crack
through3Dfiniteelementmodelling.
Squats are also an important RCF problem for the Dutch Railways (ProRail) [3], [17].
Therefore, ProRail have launched a project which aimed at the causes of squats, their
initiationandearlydetection.Someresultsofthestudyonsquatsthathavebeenreported
byLietal.in[4],[17],[18],and[19]aresummarizedbelow.
1.2.3. Initiationofsquats
Squatsmainlyoccurontangenttracks,shallowcurves,atswitchesandcrossings.Theymay
appearasindividualisolateddefectsorascloselyspacedmultipledefects.Multipledefects
aremoredangerous,becausemultiplerailfracturesmayoccur,causingsignificantgapsina
rail.
A squat may initiate at any geometrical deviation which can cause sufficiently large stress
and strain, resulting in localized deformation [17], [20]. Indentation by hard objects in the
wheelrail contact is one of the sources of squats initiation [3], [4], [5], [17]. The
indentationscanbecausedbyballaststones[5].Indentationsmayalsobecausedbyother
hardobjects,suchasballsfromrollerbearingsorfromaerosolpaint[4],indentedinwheels

Introduction

and brought forward. In this case multiple indentations with a periodicity equal to the
wheelscircumference(about3m)canoftenbeobserved.
Anothersourceofinitiationofsquatsisdifferentialwearanddifferentialplasticdeformation
[17], [19]. Normally, both wear and plastic deformation are uniform along the rails.
However, if large contact forces are excited at a certain place at each wheel passage,
differentialwear and/or deformation will occur at that place. Such wear and deformation,
when it is accumulated to certain amount, may become a source of squats initiation.
Sometimesshortwavedefectsinrail,railpads,fastening,andsleepersmayexcitethelarge
dynamiccontactforcethatisnecessaryforsquatsinitiationandgrowth,repeatedlyatthe
samelocationsothatdifferentialwearandplasticdeformationoccur.
Short pitch corrugation is the consequence of periodic differential wear or plastic
deformationwhichisrelatedtotheoccurrenceofsquats.In[4]itwasreportedthat33%of
squats initiated from the corrugation and another 41% had corrugationlike wave pattern
afterthem.Thatsuggeststhatdevelopmentofcorrugationandsquatsmayberelatedtothe
same local natural characteristics of the track. A corrugationrelated squat is counted as a
squatonlywhenalocallydentedrailsurfaceisobserved.
Thermite welds and flash butt welds often have differential wear and deformation, due to
materialinhomogeneityattheheataffectedzone.Figure1.1(d)showstwosquatsinitiated
at a thermite weld. Spin and sliding damages by wheels during traction and braking is a
frequent initiation source of squats [4]. Some wheel slide protection systems allow large
wheelslipaccompaniedbylargetangentialcontactforce.Hence,theymaypromotesquat
initiationandgrowth.
Railsurfacedefectswhichwerenotremovedcompletelybygrinding(likeprevioussquatsor
headchecks)mayalsocausesquats.
It has been mentioned above that severe squats are characterized by cracks. However,
initiating squats are usually free from cracks, since indentations, corrugation, welds,
differentialwearanddifferentialplasticdeformationusuallydonotcontaincracks.
1.2.4. Growthofsquats
Observations of rail surface defects have shown that not all of them can grow into squats
[18].Accordingto[2],railsurfacedefectscanbedividedbytheirmechanismsofinitiation
and growth into two categories: the passive and the active types. The active type, like
corrugation, differential wear and differential deformation, are selfinitiated. The passive
type, like the ones caused by wheel slip or indentations, can be smoothed out by wear
and/orplasticdeformation,iftheyaresmallenough.
5

Chapter1

Ifthesizeofarailsurfacedefectexceedsacriticalsize,itmaygrowintoasquat.In[18]the
criticalsizehasbeenfoundtobe68mmforboththerollingandthetransversedirections
in the case the traction and braking efforts are maximal for the Dutch railways. The rail
surface defects that exceed the critical size are considered in this thesis as light squats.
Defectsthosearebelowthisthresholdareconsideredastrivial.
In[17]asquatsgrowthprocesshasbeenpostulatedbasedonnumericalsimulationofarail
surfacedefectwithoutcracks.Thepostulationhasbeenvalidatedin[4].Asmallrailsurface
defect(liketheoneinFigure1.2(a))excitesadynamiccontactforceofacertainwavelength
withaseriesofpeaks.Thesecontactforcepeaksarerepeatedateverywheelpassageatthe
samelocation,causinglocalizeddifferentialwearanddifferentialplasticdeformation.After
manywheelpassages,thedeformationcausedbythecontactforcepeaksformsthespecific
lunglikeshapeofamaturesquatandthewavepatternthatfollowsit(seeFigure1.2(c)).
1.3. DETECTIONANDASSESSMENTOFSHORTTRACKIRREGULARITIES
Current methods for track inspection may be divided into several groups: ultrasonic and
eddy current measurements, visual methods, strain gauge instrumented wheelsets and
accelerometerbasedmethods.Feasibilityofthesemethodsforearlydetectionofsquatsis
discussedbelow.
1.3.1. Feasibilityoftrackinspectionmethodsforearlydetectionofsquats
UltrasonictestvehiclesforinspectionofarailwaytrackwereintroducedinGermanyabout
50 years ago [21]. Kondo et al. [5] reported that ultrasonic measurements and visual
inspection for detection of the shelling, which is similar to squats, had been performed in
Japansince1971.However,ultrasonicmeasurementsmaybeappliedonlyfordetectionof
squatswithcracks,whichmainlyappearatthelatestageofsquatanditisreliableonlywhen
thecracksaredeeperthan5mm.Therefore,thismethodisinappropriateforearlydetection
ofsquats.Visualinspectionsaresubjectivetotheexperienceoftheinspectors.Besides,they
areunsafefortheinspectorsandarelabourintensive.
Thomasetal.[21]discussedacombinationofultrasonicandeddycurrentmeasurementsfor
track inspection. It was reported that such combination can improve detection and
classification of welds, rail joints, and head checks, compared to results of only one test
method. However, the authors admitted that determination of depth of squats was
problematicwithbothinspectiontechniques.
Straingaugeinstrumentedwheelsetscanbeusedformeasurementsofvertical,longitudinal
and lateral forces. Magel et al. [22] utilized instrumented wheelsets to evaluate adhesion,
peak curving tractions, wheel climb index and RCF damage. The standard method of
6

Introduction

measuringwheelrail contact forces by instrumented wheelsets includes frequencies up to


90Hz[23].However,detectionofsquatsrequireshigherfrequencysignalstobemeasured
and analysed [17]. Gullers et al. [23] and Nielsen [24] discussed a method to measure the
highfrequencycontents(upto2kHz)ofthecontactforceusinginstrumentedwheelsets.A
newmethodofsignalprocessingincludingsuppressionofdisturbingwheelresonanceswas
introduced.Themethodshowedacorrelationbetweenhighvaluesofthecontactforcesand
several types of track irregularities, such as bad rail joints, indentations from damaged
wheel, corrugations, and stiff rail pads. Although an instrumented wheelset is capable to
measurewheelrailcontactforces,itmightbesensitivetodamageofthewheeltread;itis
alsoanexpensivetoolwhichisnotavailabletomostresearchersanddailyoperationofinfra
managers.
Berry et al. [25] presented an imagebased visual inspection system that can detect the
cracks in fishplates of rail joints. This system was developed and tested to capture high
qualitydigitalvideoimagesoffishplatesfromamovingvehicle.Asimilarsystemcanalsobe
applied to inspection of the rail surface. However, it can be difficult in distinguishing
betweensquatsandcontaminations;further,animagedoesnotreflectthedynamicwheel
railinteraction,therefore,itcannotpredictthegrowthrateofsquats.
Delprete and Rosso [26] developed a transducer for measuring vertical, lateral and
longitudinalcontactforces.Sincethetransducerisinstalledontherailweb,bythismethod
onlythelocalforcescanbemeasured.Thismethod,aswellasotherwaysidemeasurements,
isnotapplicableforcontinuousmonitoringalongthetrack.
Grassie[27]introducedatrolleyprofilometertomeasuretheverticallongitudinalprofileof
the rail at short pitch corrugation. The profile was measured using an accelerometer
mountedinaresilientsuspensionrelativetothetrolleyataspeedofabout0.7m/s.Double
integrationwasusedtogetverticallongitudinalprofileoftherail.In[28]Grassieconcluded
that the advantage of the axle box acceleration (ABA) measuring technique compared to
other methods of measurement of railhead verticallongitudinal profile is the ability to
measuretheirregularitiesoftherailatlinespeeds.
Since accelerometerbased methods are feasible for measuring the rail irregularities, and
besides, have the advantages of being simple and cheap compared to most of other
methods,furtherliteraturestudywasmadeonsuchmethods,whichispresentedbelow.

Chapter1

1.3.2. Noveltyofthecurrentresearch
1.3.2.1

Periodicorisolateddefects

Lewis[29][30]presentedaninertialmeasuringsystemformonitoringoftrackqualityfrom
standardtrackinspectionvehiclesathighspeed,whichhadbeeninuseonBritishRailsince
1982. Thesystemincludedaccelerometers,rate gyroscopesanddisplacementtransducers.
Doubleintegrationofaccelerationwasusedtocalculatetheverticalprofileoftherunning
surface.In[29]thewavelengthrangeofmeasuredtrackirregularitieswasfrom0.5to50m.
In[30]amethodofdeterminingshortwave(5080mm)railheadcorrugationsbasedonthe
processingofABAwasdescribed.
Boccioloneetal.[31]discussedatrackmaintenancestrategyusingABAmeasurements.The
paperwasfocusedonshortpitchcorrugation.ThestudyshowedcorrelationbetweenABA
andcorrugationlevel.Capriolietal.[32]analysedthepossibilitiesofthewavelettechniques
fordetectionofshortpitchcorrugationfromaxleboxacceleration.
Matsumoto et al. [33] developed a portable onboard detection system for passenger
servicevehiclestoenabledetectionofrailcorrugationonacommercialline.Theyproposed
two methods to detect corrugation: by waveletbased multiresolution analysis of the
measuredaccelerationonthecabinfloor;andbythespectrawhichwereobtainedbyusing
a windowed Fourier transform of cabin noise data, recorded with a microphone. They
concludedthatbothmethodswereabletodetecttheoccurrencesofrailcorrugationatearly
stage.TsunashimaandMori[34]summarizedthedevelopmentofthissystem.
Remennikov and Kaewunruen [35] discussed the application of ABA to estimation of the
contactforcesatbothcorrugationandwheelflats.
All the papers discussed above were focused on detection of defects that produce a
periodicallyrepeateddynamicinteractionbetweenwheelandrail,suchascorrugationand
wheel flats. These defects excite vibrations with a certain frequency over a long track
section, which facilitate their detection. In contrast, the present study discusses detection
and assessment of local isolated short track defects. Their major difference from periodic
defects is that the wheelrail response at isolated defects has short duration and
unpredictableoccurrence.
1.3.2.2

Frequencyrange

Kawasaki and YoucefToumi [36] proposed a method to estimate rail irregularities by


measuring passenger car accelerations. Using data obtained by simulations based on a
threedimensionalrailvehiclemodelwithrailirregularities,theinverseproblemwassolved,

Introduction

where inputs are accelerations of a vehicle and outputs are rail irregularities. The
frequenciesconsideredwereupto70rad/sec,whichisapproximately11Hz.
Reicke and Popp [37] proposed the identification of the runningstate of the wheelset by
ABAinlongitudinal,transversalandverticaldirection.Thetransientbehaviourofstructural
vibrations of the wheelset was analysed by timefrequency transforms. The considered
frequencyrangewasupto200Hz.
Tanaka and Furukawa [38] analysed the relation between the wheel load and the vertical
ABA in the frequency range up to 100Hz. Wheel loads were measured by strain gauges
attachedonthewheel.Itwasassumedthatthelargevalueofthewheelloadincludedan
impactcomponentandaquasistaticcomponent.Thequasistaticcomponentsofaxlebox
accelerationandthewheelloadwereeliminatedbyapplyinghighpassfilter;onlyvariable
impactcomponentswereanalysed.Basedontheresultofregressionanalysis,itwasfound
that the relation between the maximum values of wheel load and vertical axle box
accelerationcouldbeexpressedbylinearequation.
Sunaga et al. [39] proposed to use ABA to evaluate wheel load fluctuation at short track
irregularitiesforacutofffrequencyofupto300Hz,tomaintaingoodqualityofShinkansen
track.Hediscussedthepossibilitytodetectwelds,corrugationsofwavelengthbetween1.2
and 1.5 m, as well as loose sleepers by axle box acceleration. The method showed good
correlationbetweenABAanddynamicwheelloadinthefrequencyrangefrom10to80Hz.
To distinguish the rail defects from loose sleepers an adaptive filter process was used for
analysis of the frequency range of axle box acceleration. Consequently, track maintenance
actionswereselectedwitheitherarailgrindingorballasttamping.
Realetal.[40]presentedanewinertialmethodtoobtainrailverticallongitudinalprofileby
ABAmeasurementsinthefrequencyrangeupto250Hz.Thepaperwasfocusedonlongrail
irregularities.Themethodwasbasedonamodelrepresentingtheinteractionbetweenthe
train and the track. The model used the Fourier transform in order to find the transfer
function that relates the axles vertical displacement to the vertical rail profile and the
bogies vertical movement. The solution was obtained in the frequency domain and then
reverted back into the time domain by applying the inverse Fourier transform. The
procedure was employed in order to determine, by measuring accelerations, whether the
trackhastobemaintainedornot.
In the papers mentioned above the considered frequency range was below 300 Hz. In a
recentstudy[17]ithasbeenfound,thatsquatsarerelatedtothefrequencycomponentsup
to 2 kHz or even higher. The present study therefore investigates the high frequency
characteristicsofABAatlocalisolatedshorttrackdefects.

Chapter1

1.3.2.3

Localcharacteristicsofshortirregularities

Eliaet al. [41] presented a research program for condition monitoring of the railway track
fromstandardoperationvehicle.Oneofthepointsofthisresearchprogramwasdetection
oflongwavelengthirregularitiesbyaccelerationsmeasuredfromcarbodies,bogiesandaxle
boxes.
Xiaetal.[42]usedaxleboxaccelerationmeasurementsto studythedynamicresponseof
railway bridges under train loads. The paper was focused on long wave irregularities. The
dynamic interaction on railway bridges was simulated to design bridge reinforcement. The
axleboxaccelerationwasobtainedfromthetrainrunningatdifferentspeedsbetween40
and 155 km/h, and integrated twice to calculate the displacement responses. Random
excitations were generated by a time series autoregressive model from experimentally
obtained displacement. The generated random excitations were used in simulations train
runningonthebridge.
Dings et al. [43] presented a trafficdependent acoustical grinding criterion for the Dutch
railway network based on ABA measurements. It was proposed to measure the rail
roughnessontheentirenetwork,tocompareitwiththewheelroughnessofthetrainsfor
eachline,andtoselectthetracksectionswhererailgrindingcouldbringasignificantnoise
reduction. The decisions about grinding were made based on the average roughness for
every25mtracksection.
Spanner [44] proposed a new approach of assessing rail roughness, based on signal
processing of measured ABA data. The spectrograms, where the rail roughness was
presentedwithbothspatialandwavelengthresolution,wereusedtomakedecisionsabout
grinding.Theroughnessisassessedforlongtracksections(10m).
Thepapersmentionedabovediscusslongtrackirregularitiesorroughnesscharacteristicsof
long track sections, while the present research is focused on local characteristics (length
scaleisshorterthan1m)ofisolatedshorttrackirregularities.
1.4. RESEARCHAPPROACH
Basedontheliteraturestudypresentedabove,ABAmeasurementswillbeemployedinthis
workforearlydetectionofsquats.SincetheABAisameasureofthevibrationsofthewheel
inthevehicletracksystem,excitedduringthewheelrailinteraction,itcangiveanindication
of the irregularities at the wheelrail interface. There are several advantages associated to
thismethod.Firstly,thepresenceofcracksisnotnecessaryfordetection;therefore,early
squats can be detected. Secondly, the method can also give indication of the level of the
dynamic contact force. Besides, ABA measurement does not need complicated
10

Introduction

instrumentation as accelerometers can easily be mounted on many of the standard


operatingvehicles.Further,thismethodmaybeusedforautomaticdetectionofshortrail
topirregularities.
Some drawbacks of axle box acceleration measuring method have been indicated in [44].
Firstly, the measured ABA signal is influenced by the vibrations of both the track and the
wheelset. When the wheel is damaged, the assessment of rail irregularities is affected by
vibrationsoriginatedfromthewheel.Itisexpectedthatthisproblemwillbesolvedbysignal
processing of the measured data. Since the vibrations excited by a wheel defect have a
certain periodicity, it should be possible to distinguish between these vibrations and the
ones originated at an isolated track defect. However, the ABA responses at wheel defects
havethesameperiodicitywithABAresponsesatperiodicrailsurfacedefectsinitiatedfroma
hard object indented into wheel; yet it is expected that they can be distinguished. This
questionwillbefurtherdiscussedinchapter6ofthisthesis.
Secondly,ABAmeasurementsarespeeddependent.Toeliminatetheinfluenceofthetrain
speed, the measurements should be performed at nearly constant speed, and where not
possible,amappingbetweenABAmeasurementsandspeedisneeded.Thisquestionwillbe
addressedinchapter4ofthisthesis.
Thirdly, the frequencies of track vibrations are dependent on the stiffness and damping
propertiesofthetrack.TheABAresponsesontrackswithdifferentpropertiescanbestudied
bynumericalsimulations.Then,thealgorithmfordetectionofsquatscanbecalibratedfor
eachtypeoftrack.Thisquestionwillbeinvestigatedinchapter4ofthisthesis.
TheprimarytaskofthisresearchistostudyrelationshipsbetweenABAandsquats.These
relationshipscanbestudiedwithsignalprocessingofmeasuredABAandwithfiniteelement
(FE) simulations. Wavelet technique can be applied for analyses of the measured and
calculated ABA responses. The established relationships are then used for development of
detection procedure. The following measurement data is available for research: recorded
ABA,informationaboutpositionsandseverityofsquatsinthetrackandrailprofilesatthese
squats.
The advantage of the FE modelling is the ability to establish quantitative relationships
between squats and ABA characteristics under controlled parameter conditions. The
influence of track parameters on ABA can be examined by parameter variation study.
Although it can also be obtained by track or lab tests and measurements, they are much
more expensive and time consuming. The track parameters used in this work arethose of
theDutchrailways,buttheapproachisapplicabletoothertracks.

11

Chapter1

WhentherelationshipsbetweenABAandsquatsareestablishedandtheinfluenceoftrack
parametersisstudied,detectioncriteriamaybeintroduced.Then,thedetectionprocedure
canbevalidatedbytrackinspection.
1.5. CHAPTEROUTLINE
FeasibilitystudyofABAforearlydetectionofsquatsisdiscussedinchapter2.Apilotanalysis
of the relationship between ABA and squats demonstrates the need for improvement of
instrumentationandsignalprocessingofABAinordertogainthecapabilityofdetectionof
lightsquats.
ToobtainaquantitativerelationshipbetweenABAcharacteristicsandsquats,anFEmodelof
thevehicletracksystemisemployedfordynamicsimulationsofawheelrollingoverarail
with surface geometrical irregularity. Chapter 3 is focused on validation of the FE model
againstABAmeasurements.
Inchapter4theABAfrequenciesrelatedtosquats(signaturetunes)areidentifiedthrough
FEmodellingofABAatanumberofsquatsofdifferentseverity.Theinfluenceofvariedtrain
speed,variedtrackparametersandlocationofasquatonABAisstudied.
The relationships between ABA characteristics such as magnitude and frequency contents
andseverityofsquatsareestablishedinchapter5.
BasedontheanalysisofABAmeasurements,FEsimulationsandhammertests,aprototype
of the improved ABA system for the detection of light squats is developed in chapter 6.
Problems with the instrumentation, revealed by trial measurements are treated. The
improvementofinstrumentationprovidesbettersignaltonoiseratioofABAmeasurements
whichfacilitateddetectionoflightsquats.
Then, employing the signature tunes obtained by FE modelling and confirmed by field
measurements, an automatic detection algorithm for squats is developed and validated in
chapter7.
The main conclusions are summarized in Chapter 8. The necessity of further work is also
indicated.

12

FeasibilitystudyofABAmeasurementsforearlydetectionofsquats

2. FEASIBILITYSTUDYOFABAMEASUREMENTSFOREARLYDETECTIONOF
SQUATS
2.1. INTRODUCTION
In the previous chapter a literature overview of different methods of track inspection has
been presented. It has been indicated that among others, ABA method is the most
appropriate for early detection of squats. In this chapter a feasibility study of ABA
measurements for early detection of squats, based on field measurements, is presented.
ThischapteralsodiscussedadvancedsignalprocessingtechniquesfortheanalysisofABA.
2.2. TRIALMEASUREMENTS
2.2.1. Instrumentationsetup
Two trial measurement rounds were performed: in Zuid Holland (at the end of 2005
beginning 2006), and in Weert (in 2007). The instrumentation setup (see Figure 2.1) was
similarforbothtrialmeasuringrounds.Theaccelerometersweremountedonthefouraxles
ofabogie.ThemountingpositionofanaccelerometerisshowninFigure2.2.Eachdataset
includedfourverticalABAsignals,recordedontheaxleboxesofonebogie,GPScoordinates
fordeterminingthelocationofthesignals,andthetrainspeed.

Accelerometers

Vehicle

Figure2.1Instrumentationsetup

The ABA measurements were repeated three times on the same track. That was made
because of several reasons. First of all, to examine the repeatability of ABA at short track
irregularities:ABAsignalsmeasuredatashorttrackirregularityshouldhavesimilarresponse
foreverymeasurementwithinoneday.Thesecondreasontorepeatthemeasurementsisto
increase the probability to detect light squats. The wheelrail interaction at a squat is
influencedbythelateralgeometryofthesquat.However,duringtheseveralmeasurement
runs a wheel might have travelled along different trajectory on the rail because of the
huntingoscillation.Thisfactorbecomesevenmoreinfluentialwhenthesizeofthesquatis

13

Chapter2

smallerthanthewidthoftherollingband,becausenoteverywheelpassagewillnecessarily
run over it. The third reason is to check the accuracy of onboard GPS positioning: the
responsesmeasuredatonelocationshouldhavethesameGPS.
Accelerometer

Axle

Wheel

Rail

Figure2.2Positionofaccelerometer.

2.2.2. Trackdefects
2.2.2.1

IRIS

Trackgeometricalirregularitydataareobtainedbyameasuringtrainrunningtwiceayear
over the entire Dutch network and collected in a database called IRISsys [17]. IRIS also
containsinformationaboutlocationsofsquats,theirseverities,andphotosoftherailtops.
Locationsofjoints,switches,bridges,viaducts,levelcrossingcanbealsofoundthere.
Inthisdatabase,thelocationsofshorttrackirregularitiesareidentifiedbytheGeoCode*of
the track and conventional kilometre position. This conventional kilometre position is also
usedinthisworkforpositioningofABAresponsesandidentificationoflocationsofsquats.
2.2.2.2

Monitoring

For the current research, the most complete and up to date information about the short
trackirregularitiesonthetracksections,wheretheABAwasmeasured,wasnecessary.Thus,
several tracks (Weert, Assen, Schiedam, and Steenwijk) were regularly monitored since
2007.
Themonitoringprovidedthefollowingdataforthisresearch:GPScoordinatesmeasuredon
the ground, photos, verticallongitudinal profiles of the rail measured with the RAILPROF
device (Figure 2.3, Figure 2.4), and the MINIPROF measurements of the crosssectional
profileoftherailatshorttrackirregularities,suchassquats,weldsandinsulatedjoints.The
accuracyofthehandheldGPSwas5m.

GeoCodeisauniquecodeassignedtoeachtrack

14

FeasibilitystudyofABAmeasurementsforearlydetectionofsquats

Verticaldeviation,mm

Figure2.3RAILPROF
0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
500

400

300 200

400

500

0
0.5
1
1.5
500

400 300

200

(c)Thermiteweld

100

100

200

300

400

500

(d)Railprofileatthermiteweld
0.5
0.3
0.1
0.1
0.3
0.5
500

400 300

200

100

100

200

300

400

500

Position,mm

(f)Railprofileatseveresquat
Verticaldeviation,mm

(e)Severesquat
0.5
0.3
0.1
0.1
0.3
0.5
500

400

300

200

100

100

200

300

400

Position,mm

300

0.5

200

Position,mm

Verticaldeviation,mm

100

(b)Railprofileatinsulatedjoint
Verticaldeviation,mm

(a)Insulatedjoint

Position,mm

100

(g)Lightsquat

500

(h)Railprofileatlightsquat

Figure2.4Photosandmeasurementsofverticallongitudinalprofileoftherailattrackirregularities.The
travellingdirectionisfromlefttorightinallthepictures.Whitelineindicatesthecentrelineoftherail,
wherethemeasurementsweretaken.

15

Chapter2

Figure2.4showsexamplesofRAILPROFmeasurementsataninsulatedjoint,aweld,asevere
squat and a light squat, with corresponding photos. The horizontal axis is the longitudinal
position along the rail in millimetres; the vertical axis is the vertical deviation of the rail
surfaceinmillimetres.RAILPROFmeasuresrailprofilewithin1meteronthecentrelineof
therail.Ifadefectisoffset,likethelightsquatinFigure2.4(g),theRAILPROFcanmissit.
Thedataobtainedbymonitoringwereusedforseveralpurposes:

TheGPScoordinatesofdefectswereusedtofindrelationbetweentheABApeaks
andtrackdefects.

The measurements of rail profiles were used as an input to the FE model for
numericalsimulationofdynamicresponsesatshorttrackdefects.
2.2.3. MeasurementsinZuidHolland

ThefirstABAmeasurementswereperformedinZuidHollandinDecember2005January
2006.ThreedifferentsectionsoftheDutchRailwaytrackweremeasured:DelftDenHaag,
Lage Zwaluwe brug Hollands Diep, and Lage Zwaluwe Dordrecht. For the reasons
explainedinsection2.2.1,eachtrackwasmeasuredseveraltimes.
It was found that insulated joints cause high peaks in ABA signals. Knowing the distances
between the insulated joints from IRIS database and comparing to the distances between
peaksinABAsignals,thepeaksexcitedbyinsulatedjointswereidentified.Figure2.5shows
the ABA signal measured on the track Lage Zwaluwe Dordrecht. The positions of the
insulatedjointsweretakenfromIRISdatabaseandmarkedwithredasterisks.Thetravelling
direction is from left to right. The negative values in the abscissaaxis mean that the train
wastravellinginthedirectionofdecreasingconventionalkilometreposition.

Figure2.5ABAmeasuredinLageZwaluweDordrecht.Themeasurementwastakenontheleading
wheelset.Theabscissaaxisispositionalongthetrackinkilometres.Redasterisksindicatepositionsof
insulatedjoints.

16

FeasibilitystudyofABAmeasurementsforearlydetectionofsquats

ComparingtheGPScoordinatesofinsulatedjointstakenduringthetrackmonitoringtoon
boardGPScoordinatescorrespondingtotheABApeaks,itwasfoundthattheerrorofon
board GPS coordinates was up to 80 m in longitudinal direction. Because of the large
positioningerroritwasnotpossibletolocateothershorttrackirregularities,suchassquats,
inthesemeasurements.Anothermeasurementroundwasneededtofindrelationbetween
ABAandsquats.
2.2.4. MeasurementsinWeert
Another trial measurement, with improved GPS positioning, was made on the track
Eindhoven Weert in March 2007. The measurements were repeated three times on the
same section of track of about 3 km long. The onboard GPS coordinate recorded at the
sameshorttrackirregularitywerecompared,andthecalculatedpositioningerroroftheon
boardGPSsystemwaswithin1m.Thus,itwaspossibletomakeacorrelationanalysistofind
the relation between ABA and short track irregularities. The kilometre position of joints
knownfromIRISdatabasewasusedforcrosscheckingofthepositioningoftheABAsignals.
Thequalityofthedatawascheckedbysimplerepeatabilityanalysis.TheABAsignalsfrom
different runs measured at a severe squat were overlapped (see Figure 2.6). The
characteristics of the signals, such as magnitude and wavelength, were similar in the
differentruns;thus,themeasurementswerereliable.

Acceleration,m/s2

150
100
50
0
50
100
150
0.1

0.05

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

Position,m
Measurement1

Measurement2

Measurement3

Figure2.6RepeatabilityofABAataseveresquat

2.3. DETECTIONOFSQUATS
To assess the feasibility to detect squats from ABA, the magnitude of ABA signals at
positions,correspondingtosquats,wereexamined.IfanoutstandingmagnitudeofABAwas
observed at such location, the squat was considered as detectible. The feasibility for
detectionofsquatsbyABAwasassessedintermsofhitrate,whichistheratioofdetected

17

Chapter2

irregularities over the total number of irregularities. The hit rate presented in Table 2.1 is
obtainedbasedonlyonABApeaks.
Table2.1HitrateofsquatsbasedonstatisticsofABApeaks
Squats

TotalNumber

Detectable

Hitrate,%

Severe

100

Moderate

15

60

Light

21

12

57

The hit rate for severe squats was 100 %. Severe squats can be detected in every
measurementrun.Aseveresquatcausespeaksinsignalsmeasuredbothattheleadingand
trailingwheels.
Thehitratesofmoderateandlightsquatswere60%and57%respectively.Thelightsquats
inTable2.1werelargerthanthecriticalsizeofsquats,i.e.notrivialdefectswereincludedin
thesestatistics.
Thereasonforthelowhitrateoflightandmoderatesquatsisthatsuchsquatsdonotexcite
peaksineachmeasurementrun,sincethesizeofthesesquatsmaybenotlargeenoughand
thewheeldoesnothitthesedefectsineveryrun.AnotherreasonisthatABAmeasurements
in Weert were lowpass filtered with a cutoff frequency of 1 kHz during the measuring
process. However, for detection of light and moderate squats, the measured frequency
rangeshouldbehigher,astheexcitedfrequencieslieinthefrequencyrangeupto2kHz.In
[17] it was found that the wavelength of the contact force, determined by the natural
frequenciesofthesystem,isbetween20mmand40mm,whichcorrespondsto9501900Hz
forarollingspeedof140km/h,thetypicalspeedofDutchpassengertrains.SinceABAisa
measure of vibration of the coupled vehicletrack system, it should be influenced by the
samenaturalfrequenciesasthecontactforce.Becauseofthat,thepresentedhitratemay
beimprovedbyanalysisofthehighfrequencypartofABA.Inlatermeasurementsattention
was paid to ensure that no mechanical filter was applied, so that the measured signals
containedhigherfrequencycomponents.
ThehitrateofdetectionmayalsobeimprovedbyconsideringthefrequencycontentofABA.
The ABA is a combination of vibrations of the vehicletrack system excited by short
irregularities and long irregularities. Therefore, at the moment of impact at a squat the
different resonance characteristics could be seen in the timefrequency representation of
theABAsignal.Thesecharacteristicsmaybeusedfordetectionofsquats.

18

FeasibilitystudyofABAmeasurementsforearlydetectionofsquats

Further, on a track with high rail roughness the average amplitude of ABA vibrations is
higherthanthatofrecentlygroundrails.Onroughtracksitmightbedifficulttodistinguish
squats based only on the magnitude of ABA. Investigating the frequency contents of the
signalsmightbehelpfulinthiscase.Anoverviewoftimefrequencytechniquesispresented
below.
2.4. RELATIONBETWEENABAANDSIZEOFASQUAT
To get an insight into relation between the ABA and size of squat, ABA responses at a
numberofsquatsfromthesametrackwereinvestigated.Figure2.7showsthreeexamples
of squats, the ABA responses of which were compared. Note that the geometry of these
squatswassignificantlydifferent:squat1inFigure2.7(a)isamoderatesquat,whilesquats2
and3aresevere.

(a)Squat1

(b)Squat2

(c)Squat3

Figure2.7Squats.

TheABAsignalsmeasuredatthesesquatsarepresentedinFigure2.8.Aftertheexcitation
point(aroundpositionzerometers)thepeaksappearatthesamepositions.Thismeansthat
the ABA wavelength is mainly determined by the natural frequencies of the wheeltrack
system. As it was mentioned earlier, it is also dependent on the train speed, but in these
measurementsthespeedwasconstant.

Figure2.8ABAatthreesquatsfromFigure2.7

19

Chapter2

The magnitude of ABA depended on the severity of the defects: the larger defects cause
higher magnitude. The relation between the size of defects and ABA magnitude will be
investigatedinchapter5.
2.5. TIMEFREQUENCYTECHNIQUES
Asitwasmentionedabove,investigationofthefrequencycontentofABAisnecessaryfor
theimprovementofthehitrateofmoderateandlightsquats.Thereareseveraltechniques
availablefortheinvestigationoffrequencycontentofthesignal.WewillcompareFourier
Transform, ShortTime Fourier Transform and Continuous Wavelet Transform for the
investigationoflocalfrequencycharacteristicsofasignal.
The Fourier transform is a complexvalued function which is defined as follows [45], [46],
and[47]:
Xf

x t e

i 2 ft

(2.1)

dt ,

where x t is the function to be analysed, X t its Fourier Transform, t is time, f is


frequency,andiisacomplexunit.
Fourier analysis is applied to investigation of the frequency content of the time series.
However,itcannotprovideinformationabouttimelocalizationofthespectralcomponents,
sinceFouriertransformisafunctionoffrequency.Inordertoinvestigatethelocalfrequency
characteristicsofthesignal,timefrequencyrepresentationisneeded.
TorepresentthetimefrequencycontentofthesignaltheShortTime(orWindowed)Fourier
Transform(STFT)canbeapplied.Inthistechniquetheobservedfunction x t ismultiplied
byamovingwindowfunction t ,andFouriercoefficientsarecalculated[45],[48]:
X , f

x t t e

i 2 ft

(2.2)

dt ,

where t isacompactlysupportedwindowfunction,andisatimetranslationstep.
Since multiplication by a relatively short window t gives an indication of the
frequencycontentofthesignal x t intheneighbourhoodoftheanalysistimepointt=
andeffectivelysuppressesthesignaloutsidethisarea,theSTFTrepresentsalocalspectrum
ofthesignal x t aroundtheanalysistime.

20

FeasibilitystudyofABAmeasurementsforearlydetectionofsquats

However, this method has a drawback. The timefrequency representation by thismethod


depends on the window size. When the window is narrow it can provide a good time
resolution with poor frequency resolution; while when the window is wide it can provide
good frequency resolution and poor time resolution. Therefore, it is necessary to analyse
severalwindowsizestodetermineanappropriateone.
Another technique, the wavelet analysis, has the advantage that the timefrequency
representationisnotdependentonthewindowsize.Continuouswavelettransform(CWT)is
a timefrequency analysis tool, where the observed function is multiplied by a group of
shiftedandscaledwaveletfunctions.CWTcanbedefinedasfollows[49]:
Wx ( s, )

1
s

x(t )

dt ,

(2.3)

whereis x t theanalysedsignal; t amotherwavelet,whichisalocallylimitedfunction

1 t

a family of wavelets deduced from the mother wavelet by different


s s
translations and scaling; * indicates a complex conjugate; s is a wavelet scale, s>0; is a
continuousvariable; Wx ( s, ) arewaveletcoefficients.
ThewaveletscaleisrelatedtoFourierperiod(orinversefrequency).Therelationshipfora
particularwaveletfunctioncanbederivedbyfindingthewavelettransformofapurecosine
wave with a known Fourier period, and then computing the scale at which the wavelet
powerspectrumreachesitsmaximum.
AccordingtoParsevalstheoremofenergypreservation,theenergyofwavelettransformis
equaltotheenergyoftheoriginalsignalinthetimedomain[50].Thephysicalmeaningof
theCWTcanbedescribedascorrelationbetweentheoriginalsignalandscaledwaveletat
delay.Wavelettransformcanbealsoconsideredasalinearfilteringoperationinvolvinga
numberoffilters[32].Foramoredetaileddiscussiononwaveletssee[51].
Asitwasmentionedearlier,themainadvantageofCWTcomparedtoSTFTisaverygood
level of time and frequency resolution. Therefore, wavelet analysis is appropriate for
investigationofnonstationaryphenomenawithlocalchangesinthefrequencycomponents,
suchasstructuraldamagedetectionandcrackidentifications[50],[52],[53],[54].
InthisworktheMorletfunctionisusedasamotherwavelet(seeFigure2.9).Itisdefinedas
follows:

0 1/ 4 ei e
0

/2

(2.4)

21

Chapter2

where0isanondimensionalfrequency.

Figure2.9.Waveletfunctions(Morlet)

Thepowerspectrumofawavelettransformisdefinedasthesquareofwaveletcoefficients:

Wx2 ( s, )

(2.5)

Theplotofwaveletpowerspectrumiscalledascalogram.Averticalsliceofawaveletplotis
ameasureofthelocalspectrum.AnexampleofsuchplotisshowninFigure2.10,wherethe
scalogramofABAsignalsaroundamoderatesquatisdepicted.Theredcolouraroundzero
positionrepresentshighenergyofthesignalcausedbyanimpactatthesquat.Inthiswork
the scalograms are applied to identification of squats. They allow determination of the
positionsofsquatsalongthetracksbythefrequencycontentsofthesignal.

Figure2.10.ScalogramofABAaroundamoderatesquat.

2.6. CONCLUSIONS
TheanalysisofthemeasuredABAhasshownhighpotentialcapabilitiesoftheABAmethod
for detection of squats. Severe squats have been easily detected by ABA with simple time
domainmethods.Fordetectionoflightandmoderatesquatsimprovementsoftheutilized

22

FeasibilitystudyofABAmeasurementsforearlydetectionofsquats

instrumentationandsignalprocessingareneeded,namelyhighfrequencycharacteristicsof
ABA(upto2kHz)shouldbemeasuredandstudied.
ABA should be investigated in the timefrequency domain to identify the local frequency
characteristics related to squats. It may especially be desired for tracks with high rail
roughness, where the level of vibrations is high and detection of light squats by ABA
magnitudewillbedifficult.Advancedsignalprocessingtechniquesforanalysisofmeasured
ABAhavebeendiscussed.Waveletanalysisisfoundtobethemostsuitableforinvestigation
of local frequency characteristics of ABA. The relation between frequency content of ABA
andsquatscanbestudiedbyscalograms.
TheanalyseshaveshownthattheABAisfeasiblefordetectionofsquats.

23

Chapter3

3. FEMODELLINGOFABAANDVALIDATION
3.1. INTRODUCTION
TheanalysisinthepreviouschapterhasshownthatABAmeasurementscanbeappliedfor
detectionoflocalisolatedraildefects,suchassquats.Itwasconcludedthatitisimportantto
investigatethefrequencycontentofABAatsquats,inordertodeterminetherelationship
betweensquatsandABAcharacteristicswhichcanbeusedfordetection.Further,theABA
responsesatsquatsofdifferentseverityshouldalsobeinvestigatedtomakeitpossibleto
assessthesquatseverityfromABAmeasurements.TheABAresponsesarealsodependent
on various factors such as train speed and track structure. The influence of these factors
should be studied. Since it is difficult to acquire from tests all the necessary data for such
analyses,numericalsimulationswereperformed.Forthatafiniteelementmodelofawheel
runningoverarailisbuildandvalidatedinthischapter.
Hienschetal.[55]investigatedrailroughnessgrowththroughnumericalsimulationofhigh
frequency dynamic traintrack interaction, where the track was modelled as discretely
supportedRayleighTimoshenkobeam,andthetrainwasmodelledasasinglerigidmass.
Boweetal.[56]performedfiniteelementsimulationsofthedynamicresponseofavehicle
at a railway bridge with rail irregularities. To model the dynamic interaction between the
wheel and rail, the authors developed wheelrail contact element incorporating
irregularities.Thevehiclebodyandthebogieweremodelledaselasticbeamelements,the
wheelsweremodelledaslumpedmasseswithaHertzianspringandtherailwasmodelledas
abeam.
GryandGontier[57]assertedthatthebeamtheoriesareinsufficientfordynamicmodelling
ofrailwaytrack,especiallyatfrequenciesabove1500Hz.Theydevelopedanextendedbeam
modelwhichprovidesbetteragreementwithexperimentalresultsthanEulerBernoulliand
Timoshenkobeamstheories.
Consideringthedisadvantageofthebeammodels,threedimensionalFEmodellingseemsto
beamorepromisingapproachfordynamicmodellingofwheeltrackinteractioninthehigh
frequency range. Wen et al. [58] used a threedimensional FE model to investigate the
stressstrainstateduringdynamicwheelrailinteractionatrailjointswithagap.
ThethreedimensionalFEmodelemployedinthisworkwasdevelopedbasedonthemodel
forinvestigationofthestressstrainstateandthecontactforcesatsquats[17].Themodel
was validated from different aspects: the stress distributions in the contact patch were

24

FEmodelingofABAandvalidation

validatedagainstHertztheoreticalsolutionandKalkersnumericalsolutionofrollingcontact
[59]; the calculated stress level was in agreement with measured yield stress [17]; the
calculatedresidualstresswasinagreementwithmeasuredvalue[60];thewavelengthofthe
contactforceagreedwithobservedwavelengthofsurfaceplasticdeformation[17],andwas
confirmed by field survey [4]. In [17] a number of conclusions were made based on the
numerical simulations: a squats growth process was postulated by examining the
wavelengths of the contact force; the relation between the dynamic contact force and
corrugationlike wave pattern that often follows squats was revealed from numerical
simulation.Theseresultswereprovenbythefieldsurveyin[4].
ThischapterisfocusedonthevalidationofthedevelopedmodelagainstABAmeasurements
atsquatsinthefrequencyrangeupto2kHzandhigher.
3.2. FEMODEL
3.2.1. Geometry
AschemeofthemodelisshowninFigure3.1.Tosimplifyitandreducethecalculationtime,
themodelincludedonlyahalfofthewheelsetwithsprungmassesofthecarbodyandthe
bogie,andahalfofthetrack(seethe3DvisualizationinFigure3.2).Sincethisinvestigation
isfocusedontheverticaldynamicresponsesofthesysteminthemidandhighfrequency
ranges, sprung masses of the car body and bogie were lumped into one rigid body, which
was supported by the primary suspension modelled with springs and dampers. The half
wheelset, the rail and sleepers were modelled with threedimensional solid elements,
representing their real geometry and material properties. The rail was 54E1 with 1:40
inclination[61].Therailpadsandballastweremodelledasspringsanddampers.
M
K1,C1

Locationofdefect
L

K2,C2

K3,C3
a

Figure3.1:Theschemeofthemodel.Thelocationofadefectisshownwithanarrow.

25

Chapter3

Thedetailedmodellingofthevehicletracksystemaroundthecontactguaranteesthatthe
rollingcontactbetweenthewheelandrailascontinuaandtherelatedinteractionbetween
thewheelandthetrackasstructurearefullytakenintoaccount.Irrelevantdetailsofwheel
geometry, such as the wheel flange, were ignored. The rail vibrations are determined by
track parameters such as stiffness and damping of rail pads and ballast. The nominal
parameters of the Dutch railway track, vehicle parameters and material properties of the
wheelandrailareshowninTable3.1.
The FE mesh is shown in Figure 3.2. To produce accurate results, the wheel was densely
meshed in the layer of the contact surface. The smallest element size was about 1.3 mm.
The mesh of the rail in the longitudinal direction was fine (1.3 mm) around the starting
positionofthewheelandaroundthedefect.Betweenthestartingpointandthedefectthe
largest longitudinal element size was 5 mm, with intermediate transitional element sizes
between the smallest and the largest sizes. The part of the rail which is considerably far
awayfromthedefectwasmeshedwithanelementsizeofupto7.5cm.
The model of the defect was applied to the nominal rail surface by vertically shifting the
surfacenodesoftherail.ThemiddlesofdefectswerelocatedatadistanceLrelativetothe
sleeper,dependingontherealpositionofthedefectinthetrack(seeFigure3.1).

Sprungmasses

Finemeshinthecontactareas

Figure3.2:TheFEmodelvisualizedin3D.

26

FEmodelingofABAandvalidation

Table3.1Parametersofthemodel[55].
Component

Parameter

Value

Railpad

Stiffness

1300MN/m

Damping

45KNs/m

Sleeper

Mass

244kg

Sleeperdistance

0.6m

Ballast

Stiffness

45MN/m

Damping

32KNs/m

Sprungmass

Mass

8,000kg

Firstsuspension

Stiffness

1.15MN/m

Damping

2500Ns/m

Material

Youngsmodulus

210GPa

Poissonsratio

0.3

Massdensity

7,800kg/m3

Yieldstress

0.8GPa

Tangentmodulus

21GPa

Trackparameters

Vehicleparameters

Wheelandrail

3.2.2. Solutionprocedure
Thesolutionprocesswasacombinationofanimplicitintegrationpartforcalculationofthe
static equilibrium of the wheeltrack system, and an explicit integration part for dynamic
simulationsofthewheelrollingovertherail.
Thefirststepofthesolutionprocedureisstaticanalysis.Theimplicitintegrationmethodwas
usedtoclosethegapbetweenwheelandrail,tofindtheirequilibriumpositionandcalculate
theinitialdeformationofthewheeltracksystem.Thesecondstepisdynamicanalysis.The
displacements obtained from the implicit analysis define the initial state of the explicit
analysiswhenstressinitializationisperformed.Initialvelocitywasappliedtothewheeland
car body. A torque about the rolling axis was applied to the wheel. The contact between
wheel and rail was modelled using surfacetosurface algorithm. The Coulomb friction law
wasemployedwithafrictioncoefficientof0.3.
Duringthedynamicsimulationsthewheelranovertherailwithaspeedofabout100km/h,
whichisapproximatelythespeedwithwhichtheABAwasmeasured.Thedistancebetween
thestartingpositionofthewheelandthedefectwasmorethanasleeperspan(seeFigure
3.1)toensurethatanysignificantinitialdisturbanceshaddecayedbeforethewheelarrived
atthedefect.CalculatedverticalABAwastakenatthecentreofthewheel.

27

Chapter3

3.2.3. Lengthofthemodelledtrack
Ifthelengthofthemodelledrailisnotlongenough,theresultsmaybeinfluencedbythe
wavesreflectedfromtherailends.Toinvestigatetheinfluenceofthiseffect,threemodels
with a rail length of 10m, 20m, and 40m were calculated.The wheel accelerations around
thedefectcalculatedwiththesemodelsareshowninFigure3.3.Themodelswhichhavethe
raillengthof20mand40mproduceaccelerationswhichareidentical.Therefore,thetrack
length of 20m is considered enough to reduce the influence of wave reflection on ABA at
squatstoanegligiblelevel.
Thereductionofthelengthofthemodelledtrackto10mdoesnotaffectthewavelengthof
ABA at the defect (see Figure 3.3), and therefore, its frequency characteristics. Since the
investigationisfocusedonlocalfrequencycharacteristicsofABAatsquats,themodelwith
10mtrackwasusedforfurthersimulationstoreducethecalculationtime.
Nevertheless,thereductionofthemodellengthto10minfluencesthemagnitudeofABAto
certainextent.Thedifferenceinmagnitudeisabout15to20%.
300
2

Acceleration(m/s )

10m
200
100

20m
40m

0
100
200
100

50

50
100
Position(mm)

150

200

Figure3.3Accelerationcalculatedwiththreemodels:with10m,20m,and40mrail.

3.3. SIMULATIONOFARAILSURFACEDEFECTWITHUNIFORMLATERALPROFILE
3.3.1. Artificialdefect
In[62]itwasshownthatthewheelrailinteractionataraildefectisinfluencedbythelateral
geometryofthedefect.ForanumberofABAmeasurementsthemeasuringwheelmayrun
across the defect at different position of it because of the lateral displacement of the
wheelsetrelativetotheraildueto,e.g.hunting.Thisfactorbecomesevenmoreinfluential
whenthesizeofthedefectissmallerthanthewidthoftherollingband,becauseinsucha
casenoteverywheelpassagewillrunoverit.

28

FEmodelingofABAandvalidation

Toensurethatthecontactconditionsarethesameineachrunofthemeasuringtrain,an
artificialdefect,whichwasuniforminthelateraldirectionintermsofwidthanddepth,was
madeontherail.Thedimensionsofthedefectwereintherangeoftypicaldimensionsof
squats.ThepurposeofthesimulationsofthissectionistovalidatetheABAcalculatedwith
the FE model, provided that the lateral geometry of the defect does not influence the
calculatedandmeasuredresults.
Figure3.4showsaphotooftheartificialdefect,takenthreemonthafteritwasmade.The
trafficdirectionwasfromlefttoright.Ontherightsideofthedefectthreewavescausedby
fluctuation of the contact force has already appeared. Their wavelength of 20 40 cm is
typicalofsquats[4].Ontherightsideoftheartificialdefectthewideningofrunningbandis
seen, which is also typical of the corrugationlike pattern following squats. Therefore, this
defectissimilartosquatsintermsofdynamicinteraction.
Wave1 Wave2

20mm 27mm

Wave3

36mm

37mm

Figure3.4:Artificialdefect.

Figure 3.5 shows two rail verticallongitudinal profiles measured at the artificial defect.
Thesetwoprofilesweremeasuredonthesameday.Theylook,however,quitedifferent.
50mm

40mm

Verticaldeviation,mm

0
0.1
0.2

Profile1
Profile2

0.3

50mm

0.4

30mm

40mm

0.5
100

80

60

40

20

20

40

60

80

Position,mm

Figure3.5:Theverticallongitudinalprofilesoftheartificialdefect.

29

100

Chapter3

The size of the artificial defect in profile 1 is 50 mm (blue line in Figure 3.5). This equals
approximatelytothelengthofthecuttogetherwiththefirstwaveinFigure3.4.Thenext
waveinprofile1isabout40mm(Figure3.5)whichcorrespondstothesecondwaveonthe
rail surface (Figure 3.4). The size of the artificial defect in profile 2 is 80 mm (red line in
Figure3.5),butitisdividedintoadeeppartofabout50mmandaslopeofabout30mm.
Thesecorrespondtothecut,thefirstandthesecondwavesinFigure3.4.Thenextwavein
profile 2 is approximately 40 mm (Figure 3.5) which is the third wave on the rail surface
(Figure 3.4). The discrepancies between the two measurements and the wavelength of
Figure 3.4 can be owing to two factors. The 1st is that the wave pattern has somewhat
differentverticallongitudinalprofileswhenitismeasuredatdifferentlateralpositionofthe
rail,ascanbeinferredfromFigure3.4.The2ndfactoristhatthelongitudinalresolutionof
theprofilemeasurementswasonly5mm.
In our simulation we applied both profiles in the FE model to check the influence of such
differenceinprofilesonABA.
3.3.2. DependenceofABAonverticallongitudinalprofileofdefect
Figure3.6showscomparisonoftheABAcalculatedwiththetwoprofilesofFigure3.5.The
abscissaaxisisthesameasinFigure3.5,namely,zeropositionisatthedeepestpointofthe
artificial defect. The wavelengths of the ABA are the same, but the magnitudes are
influencedbytheprofiles,especiallyaroundthesecondpeakaftertheexcitation,between
position 30 and 50 mm. This difference in magnitude is caused by the difference in the
slopes of the verticallongitudinal profiles around this position. Notice that this slope
correspondsactuallytothe2ndwaveinFigure3.4.Althoughtheprofileslooksodifferent,
theyproduceABAresponseofsimilarwavelength,about29mmonaverage.Thisisbecause
thewavelengthofABAaftertheimpactismainlydeterminedbythenaturalfrequenciesof
the local track system. Therefore, we can admit that these differences in the measured
profilesarenotsignificantforthewavelengthofABA.ThisinsensitivityofABAwavelengthto
the profile variation may be an invariant characteristic of ABA at squats, which could be
employed as a signature tune for detection. This hypothesis will be further elaborated in
chapter4.
The ABA response to the defects is a combination of forced and free vibrations of the
system.Thecutontherailof20mmlong(Figure3.4)producedtheforcedvibrationpartof
ABA. The length of the next wave on the rail surface is 27mm. This wave was produced
partlybyforcedandpartlybyfreevibrationsofthesystem.Thewavelengthofthefollowing
wavepatternis3637mm,whichwereformedbyfreevibrations.

30

FEmodelingofABAandvalidation

Acceleration,m/s

In Figure 3.6 the average wavelength of the calculated ABA after the impact is, however,
only about 29 mm. This is because that the speed of the measuring train and simulations
wasabout108km/h(30m/s),whichislowerthanthespeedofthenormaltraffic,140km/h
(38.9 m/s), which is responsible for the formation of the wave pattern on the railsurface.
Whenthecorrespondingfrequenciesarelookedat,theyare1034Hzfor29mmat108km/h
and1050Hzfor37mmat140km/h.Thesetwofrequenciesareclosetoeachother.
200

ABAatprofile1

150

ABAatprofile2

100
50
0
50
100
150
200
100

50

50

100

150

Position,mm

200

Figure3.6CalculatedABAwithprofiles1and2.

3.3.3. ComparisonwithmeasuredABA
The ABA measurements that were used for validation of the calculated results were
performedasdescribedinchapter2,butwithnofilter.ABAmeasurementsweremadetwo
times at the investigated artificial defect, about one month before the profiles 1 and 2 of
Figure3.5weremeasured.
Thespeedofthemeasuringtrainvariedatthelocationoftheartificialcutbetween27and
30m/satdifferentruns.Forsimplicity,allthesimulationsinthischapterwereperformedat
the same speed, 30 m/s, which make them directly comparable with each other in space
domain. However, the wavelength of the ABA signals is dependent on the speed. For this
reason, the comparison between the simulated and measured ABA was made in time
domain.
Figure 3.7 shows the measured ABA at the artificial defect. These two measurements
coincide very well by magnitude and wavelength, except for the second peak after the
excitation around 1.4 2 ms, the fourth peak around 3.5 ms and the sixth around 5 ms.
Since the difference between these two measurements is not significant, we will consider
onlyonemeasurement(Measurement1)forcomparisonwithcalculatedresults.

31

Chapter3

ThemaximumABAofmeasurement1is100m/s2.ThemaximumcalculatedABAwithprofile
1and2are115m/s2and154m/s2correspondingly.Hence,theABAatprofile1hasbetter
agreement with the measurement than the second profile. A comparison between
measurement1andABAcalculatedwithprofile1isshowninFigure3.8.Thecalculatedand
measured ABA are generally in good agreement in wavelength, while there are some
differences in magnitude. The difference in magnitudes may have been influenced by the
geometry of the defect, or by some random factors of the wheeltrack system. Note that
there was also some difference in the measured ABA at these points (see Figure 3.7). It is
noticedthatthedifferenceatthesecondpeakandthesixthpeakshastodowithvibration
components of shorter wavelength. It is also noticed that these shorter wavelength
componentsappearinmeasurement2atboththesecondandthesixthwaves,whilethey
are observed only in the second wave in measurement 1 and in the fifth wave in the
simulation.
Measurement1

Acceleration,m/s

150

Measurement2

100
50
0
50
100
150
3.6

1.6

0.4

2.4

4.4

6.4

Time,ms

(b)ABAintimedomain.

Acceleration,m/s

Figure3.7MeasuredABA.

150

Measurement

100

Simulation

50
0
50
100
150
3.6

1.6

0.4

2.4
Time,ms

4.4

Figure3.8CalculatedandmeasuredABA.

32

6.4

FEmodelingofABAandvalidation

3.3.4. FrequencycontentofABAatthedefect
Considering the forced vibrations caused by the defect with the length of 20 mm,
frequenciesup to 1500 Hz are expected in ABA signals with the measuring and simulation
speed of 108 km/h (30 m/s). For the normal traffic speed, about 140km/h (38.9 m/s) the
frequencyattheimpactshouldbeupto1950Hz(andevenhigherforsmallerdefects).
The wavelet power spectra (WPS) in Figure 3.9(a) and Figure 3.9(b) was not completely in
agreementintermsofthepowerrange.Therefore,thewaveletpowerofthesimulatedABA
wascomparedonlyqualitatively,whilethefrequencycharacteristicsofABAwerecompared
quantitatively.Inordertofacilitatethevisualcomparisonofthefrequencycharacteristicsof
ABA, the range of the colour bars was chosen 6 and 8 m2/s4 for measured and calculated
ABArespectively.

(a)MeasuredABA.

(b)CalculatedABA.

Figure3.9Waveletpowerspectrumofmeasured(a)andcalculated(b)ABA.

Thewaveletpowerspectra(WPS)inFigure3.9showthatatthemomentoftheimpactat
the defect (around zero position) frequencies up to 1700 Hz can be observed in the
measuredsignalandupto2500Hzinthecalculatedone(yellowandredareasontheplots).

33

Chapter3

ThemajorfeaturesofthemeasuredandthecalculatedABA,suchashighpowerresponses
around 300 Hz and 1000 Hz, marked with white rectangles, are in agreement. The high
frequency response of very short duration at position zero corresponds to the forced
vibrationofthesystem.Weassumethatthestrongresponsesofthelongerdurationaround
frequencies of 300 Hz and 1000 Hz, indicated with the horizontal rectangular boxes,
correspond to free vibrations of the system. The nature of these vibrations will be further
investigatedinchapter4.
Powerspectraldensities(PSD)ofthemeasuredandcalculatedsignalsareshowninFigure
3.10. Power density of calculated ABA is higher than the measured ones. The first major
frequencyisatabout300Hzandgoodagreementisfoundbetweenthemeasurementsand
the simulation. The second major frequency at about 1000 Hz is somewhat higher than
those of the measurements. This difference can be caused by local deviation of the track
parameters from the nominal ones which were used in simulations. The other two
frequencies at about 500 and 700 Hz do not appear in each measurement, while one of
them was reproduced in the simulation; this indicates the randomness aspect of the
measurement, and the difficulty for simulation to match all the details of measurements.
There are also a number of peaks in the PSD between 1200 and 2000 Hz, which might be
relatedtoshortwavecharacteristicsofthedefect,aswasmentionedattheendofSection
3.3.3.
Fromthesimulationoftheartificialdefectwithuniformlateralprofilewecanconcludethat
theresultsoftheFEsimulationsareinagreementinmostaspectswiththemeasurementsin
timeandfrequencydomain.

400

Measurement1
Simulation

300

2 2

PSD,(m/s ) /Hz

Measurement2

200
100
0
0

500

1000
Frequency,Hz

1500

Figure3.10PSDofmeasuredandcalculatedABA.

34

2000

FEmodelingofABAandvalidation

3.4. SIMULATIONOFACLASSCSQUAT
3.4.1. Geometryofasquat
To investigate the ABA response at a defect with nonuniform lateral geometry, a class C
squat (Figure 3.11) was simulated with the FE model described above. The measured
verticallongitudinal profile of the simulated squat is shown in Figure 3.12. The
measurementsoflateralprofilewerenotavailableforthissquat;thereforeitwasmodelled
asuniforminlateraldirection,bymovingtheverticallongitudinalprofileacrosstherailtop.
Although the lateral profile of squats is nonuniform, in [62] it was shown that the
wavelength of ABA at a defect with uniform lateral profile is the same as the one of
parabolic lateral profile. It was also shown in section 3.3.2 above that small variation in
verticallongitudinalprofiledoesnotaffectthewavelengthofABA.ThemagnitudeofABAis
influencedbylateralprofile[62],andbyvariationinverticallongitudinalprofile;therefore
the modelling of the squat as uniform in lateral direction may cause some discrepancies
betweenthemeasuredandsimulatedABAmagnitude.
ThecharacteristicsofmaturesquatscanbeseeninFigure3.11:atwolungappearancewith
Vshaped surface crack, rusty dark areas and widened running band [4],[17].The
corresponding typical Wshape in the verticallongitudinal profile can, however, only be
observedweaklyatthebottomoftheprofileinFigure3.12.Thisisbecauseinseveresquats
the middle part of the W is partly wiped out by the impactrolling contact [17]. Since the
squatwasoffsettothegagesidethetypicalWshapewasthenalmostmissedcompletelyby
RAILPROF,whichmeasuresalongthecentreoftherail.TakingtheWshapeintoaccount,the
averagewavelengthofthesquatandthefollowingwaveis28mm.

57mm

27 mm

Figure3.11AClassCsquat.

35

Chapter3

Verticaldeviation,mm

0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
40

20

0
Position,mm

20

40

Figure3.12:RAILPROFmeasurementofverticallongitudinalprofileoftheclassCsquatinFigure3.11.

3.4.2. ComparisonwithmeasuredABA
TwomeasuredABAsignalattheclassCsquat wereverywellrepeated;therefore,wewill
compare only one signal with the simulated ABA. The comparison between the measured
ABA (Measurement 1) and the simulated ABA is shown in Figure 3.13. The amplitude of
calculatedABAislowerthanthemeasuredonebetween1.5and3.5ms;whileafter3.5mm
the calculated amplitude agrees with the measurements. The maximum magnitude of the
calculatedABAisabout60%oftheoneofthemeasuredABA.
The difference between measurements and simulations may have several reasons: the
profile of the squat was not measured accurately. The cracks in the subsurface cause that
the measured depth of the squat is smaller than that a passing wheel will actually
experience; the modelled lateral geometry was uniform while in reality is not; the track
parametersusedinsimulationswerenominal,whileinrealitythetrackmayhaddegraded;
otherfactorswhichwerenotmodelled,suchas,forexample,cracksinthesubsurfaceofthe
squat.
Measurement

150

ABAatmeasuredprofile
Acceleration,m/s

100
50
0
50
100
3.5

1.5

0.5

2.5
4.5
Time,ms

6.5

8.5

10.5

Figure3.13ABAmeasurementsandsimulationatsquatclassCwithoriginalprofile.

36

FEmodelingofABAandvalidation

3.4.3. InfluenceoftheverticallongitudinalprofileofthesquattoABA
It is possible that the difference in magnitudes of the measured and calculated ABA was
causedbylargedeviationofthemeasuredverticallongitudinalprofileofthesquatfromthe
realone.Apartfromtheeffectofthecracks,itmayalsobecausethemeasurementswere
madeonthecentrelineoftherail,whilethesquatliedwithanoffsetonthesideoftherail.
Therefore,itsdeepestpartofthesquatwasnotonthecentreline.Thelengthofthedark
spotatthesquatinthephotoinFigure3.11is57mm,whichisinagreementwiththelength
ofthemeasuredprofileinFigure3.12.However,thewornpartoftherailsurfaceislonger,
seethewaveof27mminFigure3.11.Thus,therealprofileofthesquatmightbedeeper
andlongerthanthemeasuredprofile.

Verticaldeviation,mm

To reduce the difference between the real profile of the squat and the modelled one,
geometrymodificationswereintroduced.Withthefirstmodificationtheprofilewasmade
deeper and longer than the measured one (see Modification 1 in Figure 3.14). The slope
between20and50mmrepresentsthewavefollowingthedarkspotinFigure3.11.Sucha
slopeissimilartotheoneinprofile2oftheartificialdefectinFigure3.5andisalsooften
observedinmeasuredprofilesofsquats.Theyusuallycorrespondtooneofthewavebeing
formedafterthesquats.

0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2

Measuredprofile

0.25

Modification1

0.3

Modification2

0.35
80

60

40

20
0
20
Position,mm

40

60

80

Figure3.14VerticallongitudinalprofileoftheclassCsquat:RAILPROFmeasurementanditsmodification.

The amplitude of the calculated ABA at the modified squat's geometry became higher
between 1.5 and 5.5 ms (Figure 3.15). This indicates that there might be a relationship
betweentheseverityofsquatandABAmagnitude,whichshouldbefurtherinvestigated.
The difference between the maximum of the calculated ABA and measured ABA is now
about5%.Thewavelengthofthecalculatedsignalisthesameastheoneofsimulationwith
themeasuredprofileandagreeswiththemeasurement.ComparingthecalculatedABAto

37

Chapter3

themeasuredonewecanobservethatthemeasuredABAhasonlyonepeakbetween0and
2.5ms,whilethecalculatedABAhastwo.
Measurement

150

ABAatmodification1

Acceleration,m/s

100
50
0
50
100
150
3.5

1.5

0.5

2.5
4.5
Time,ms

6.5

8.5

10.5

Figure3.15ABAmeasurementsandsimulationatsquatclassCwithmodifiedprofile
(Modification1).

ToobtainbetteragreementinmagnitudeofABAasecondmodificationwasmade.Sincethe
maximum ABA at Modification 1 is in good agreement with the measurement, the length
and depth of the squat was kept the same as in Modification 1. From simulations of the
artificialdefectinsection3.3.2itwasfoundthattheslopeoftheverticallongitudinalprofile
influencesthemagnitudeofABA.Therefore,theslopebetween0and50mmwasmodified
(seeModification2inFigure3.12).
TheABAcalculatedattheprofileModification2hasonlyonepeakbetween0and2.5ms
(see Figure 3.16). Although the ABA calculated with the modified profile is closer to the
measurement,therearestilldiscrepanciesbetween2.5and6.5ms.ThisisbecausetheABA
isalsoinfluencedbythefactorsdiscussedabove,suchaslateralprofileofthesquat,track
parameters,cracks,whichwerenottakenintoaccount.
Thefollowingobservationscanbemadefromtheseresults.ThevalueofthemaximumABA
peakisdependentonthelengthofthesquat.Itisalsodependentonthedepthofthesquat
tocertainextent,aslongasthewheelhascontactwiththebottomofthesquat.Themissing
WshapeintheprofiledoesnothavemuchinfluenceontheABA.Theeffectofthewidthof
thesquatwasnotinvestigatedhere,butin[62]itwasfoundthatthelateralgeometryofthe
squathaseffecttothemagnitudeofABA.

38

FEmodelingofABAandvalidation

Measurement

150

ABAatmodification2

Acceleration,m/s

100
50
0
50
100
150
3.5

1.5

0.5

2.5
4.5
Time,ms

6.5

8.5

10.5

Figure3.16ABAmeasurementsandsimulationatsquatclassCwithmodifiedprofile
(Modification2).

3.4.4. FrequencycontentofABAatthesquat
TheABAinthefrequencydomainisshowninFigure3.17.TheABAresponsetothesquatis
characterized by two main frequencies: about 220 320 Hz, which corresponds to the
wavelengthof90180mmforthetravellingspeedof3040m/s,andabout10301130
Hz,whichcorrespondstothewavelengthof2639mm.NotethatthatinFigure3.11,the
averagewavelengthofthesquatis28mm.Thesetwofrequenciescanbeusedfordetection
ofsquats.
From Figure 3.17 it is observed that with the increase of the severity of a squat, the
frequency content around 300 Hz become more pronounced, while the power of the
frequencyofabout1000Hzstaysroughlythesame.Thepowerofthefirstfrequencymay
thereforebeusedforassessmentofseverityofsquats.
TherearesomediscrepanciesinthePSD:thepowerspectrumofthecalculatedABAismuch
higher than the one of measured ABA; the measured ABA contains also the frequency at
about140Hz.Thesediscrepanciesmaybeattributedtothedifferenceintrackparameters
usedforthesimulationandthoseinthereality:usedarenominalvalueswhileintrackthe
parameters can be very probably changed due to damages caused by the impact at the
squat.

39

Chapter3

600
Measurement1

2 2

PSD,(m/s ) /Hz

500

Measuredprofile

400

Modification1

300

Modification2

200
100
0
0

500

1000

1500

2000

Frequency,Hz

Figure3.17PSDofmeasuredABAatsquatclassC.

WPSofthemeasuredandcalculatedABAareshowninFigure3.18.Atthemomentofthe
impactatthedefect(aroundzeroposition)frequencyupto1500canbeobserved.Thetwo
mainfrequenciesdiscussedabovecanclearlybeseen.ComparedwithFigure3.9,thelength
ofthelowerfrequencypartismuchextendedinFigure3.18.Thisisbecausethedefectin
Figure 3.11 is much larger than the artificial defect so that lower frequency vibration is
excited, and because under the large impact of the wheel passages the local track system
wasmuchdisturbedanddegraded.Suchdegradationextendsinbothdirectionsofthetrack
atthesquat.Thereforethemajorenergyisbelow550Hz(seetheredareaoftheplots),and
the high frequency part is less pronounced. Nevertheless, there is high frequency part
around 1000 Hz which should be associated with a natural frequency of the track. This
frequency is responsible for formation of the corrugationlike wave pattern that usually
followssquats.

40

FEmodelingofABAandvalidation

(a)ABAmeasurement.

(b)CalculatedABA(Modification2).

Figure3.18Waveletpowerspectrumofmeasured(a)andcalculated(b)ABAatsquatclassC.

3.5. CONCLUSIONS
AFEmodelwasdevelopedandappliedforsimulationsofABAattwoshorttrackdefects,an
artificialdefectwithuniformlateralgeometryandaseveresquat.ThecalculatedABAwas
compared with measured ones in the frequency range up to 2 kHz because the expected
frequenciesrelatedtorailtopdefectsareinthisfrequencyrange.
Themainconclusionsarethefollowing:
1.ThelengthoftherailintheFEmodelneedstobeatleast20mtoreducewavereflection
toanegligiblelevel.However,araillengthof10misacceptableforourpurpose.
2. The FE model was validated by ABA measurements. It can reproduce the major
characteristics of the wheeltrack interaction at short track defects and can therefore be
used for further investigation of the relation between ABA and short track defects. The
validationwasperformedbysimulationsofadefectwithuniformlateralprofile.
3.Ameasuredverticallongitudinalprofileofasquatneedstobescaled.

41

Chapter3

4.Thefollowingcharacteristicsfrequenciesmaybeusefulfordetectionofsquats:between
220Hzand320Hz,between1030Hzand1130Hzandshortdurationresponseupto2500
Hz.
5. The severity of squats can be assessed by the power of the frequency component
between220Hzand320Hz.Therelationbetweenthisfrequencycomponentandseverityof
squatswillbeinvestigatedfurtherinthiswork.
Insummary,theemployedmodelissuitableforthedeterminationofrelationshipbetween
squats and ABA. The identified frequency characteristics may be used for detection of
squats. In chapters 4 and 5, by simulation of a number of light and moderate squats, the
peaksofABAanditslocalfrequencycharacteristicsmaybequantitativelyrelatedtothesize
of the defect. ABA measurements may be employed not only for detection, but also for
assessmentofseverityofsquats.

42

Signaturetunesofsquats

4. SIGNATURETUNESOFSQUATS
4.1. INTRODUCTION
InpreviouschaptersitwasindicatedthatsquatsarerelatedtohighmagnitudesofABAas
wellasitsmajorfrequencycharacteristicsofabout220320Hz,10301130Hzandhigh
frequency response up to 2500 Hz at the moment of impact. However, for developing a
detection algorithm it is necessary to make a broad study about the magnitude and
frequencycharacteristicsofABAatsquatsofdifferentseveritywithdifferentconditions,for
example,arangeoftrainspeed,trackparameterssuchasstiffnessanddampingofrailpads
andballast,sleepertypeandfastening,aswellaslocationofasquatrelativetoasleeper.In
this chapter the signature tunes of light, moderate and severe squats are identified by
numericalsimulationsandtheinfluenceoftheparametersmentionedaboveisstudied.
4.2. VARIATIONOFDEFECTSGEOMETRY
4.2.1. Modellingofdefects
Thissectionisfocusedontheinvestigationoftherelationsbetweengeometryofasquatand
ABAmagnitudeandfrequencycontent.Tostudytheserelationshipsanumberofnumerical
simulations of wheelrail interaction at squats with varied geometry were performed. At
first,estimationsoftypicallengthsanddepthsofsquatsweremade.In[18]itwasfoundthat
onlyindentationsthatarelargerthanacriticalsize,whichisabout68mm,cangrowinto
squats.Itwasvalidatedbyfieldobservationsthatindentationsof10mmgrewintosquats.
Sincethisstudyisfocusedondetectionoflightsquatsandnottrivialdefects,thesizeofthe
modelledsquatswaslargerthanthecriticalsize.
Although the focus of this work is on detection of light squats, severe squats were also
modelled.TheirsimulationisnecessarytostudythedifferenceinABAcharacteristicsatlight
and severe squats, which make assessment of severity of squats possible. In [17] it was
foundthegrowthofsquatisrelatedtothewavelengthofthedynamiccontactforce,which
is a natural characteristic of the coupled wheeltrack system. For the Dutch track the
wavelengthisusuallybetween20and40mm.Atseveresquatitcanbetoupto60mm[4].
The increase of the wavelength of squats may be caused by the following reasons: lower
frequency vibration of the vehicletrack system is excited due to increased geometry
deviation;thelocalnaturalfrequenciesofthetrackcanbechangedaroundthesquatdueto
decreaseofthetrackstiffnesscausedbydamagesinthefasteningandrailpads;thebending
stiffnessoftherailisreducedbydeepcracksinthesquat.Inthiswork70mmlengthwas

43

Chapter4

chosenasmaximallengthofsquats.Suchlengthwasalsoobservedfrommeasurementsof
verticallongitudinalprofilesatseveresquats.
Thebottomsofsquatsaremostlyrusty.Thiscanbebecausethatthesquatsaretoodeepfor
contact with wheels or because there is a network of cracks beneath. Hence, the contact
forceatthebottomistrivial.Forbothsituationsitcanbeconsideredthatthereisnowheel
railcontactatthebottom.Therefore,thedepthofasquatisusuallylargerthanthetypical
compressionofloadedrail,whichisintheorderof0.05mm.Mostofthemaximumvertical
profile deviation of the rail surface at squats, observed from measurements of vertical
longitudinalprofileislessthan0.2mm.However,themeasurementsmighthavebeendone
notonthedeepestpartofsquats.Becauseofthat,thedepthofmodelleddefectswasvaried
from0.1to0.3mm.
Then the investigation of typical profile of squats was performed. The available
measurements of verticallongitudinal profile of squats with resolution of 5 mm are too
coarse for simulation of light squats. For this reason generalized defects were used for
numericalsimulationsofsquatsinsteadofmeasuredrailprofiles.
ThebluelineinFigure4.1showsthemeasuredverticallongitudinalprofileofasquat.Note
that the left edge of the squat is lower than the right one. This is because a long wave
deformation was present in this measurement. Since this long wave is related to low
frequencycharacteristics,itisnotrelevantforourinvestigation.Thegeometryofthissquat
issimilartoasinewave,representedwiththeredlinein Figure4.1. Sincethisisatypical
shapeoflightsquats[17],thegeneralizeddefectsareapproximatedwithsine.TheWshape
of mature squats is not featured in this generalized profile because of our focus on light
squats.
0.02
0

Depth, mm

-0.02
-0.04
-0.06
Measured
profile

-0.08

Sine

-0.1
-0.12
-10

10

20

30

Length, mm

40

50

Figure4.1:Comparisonofmeasuredprofileatlightsquatandsinewave.

Thegeneralizeddefectswerethereforemodelledasfollows:
44

Signaturetunesofsquats

GLD

D
2 x D
cos

2
L 2

(4.1)

wherexisabscissa,Listhelength,andDisthedepthofthedefect.Eachmodelleddefectis
denotedasGLD,whereindexListwodigitsofthelengthofthedefectinmm,andindexDis
one digit indicating the depth of the defect inmm multiplied by 10, for example,G302 is a
defect of 30 mm long and 0.2 mm deep. The length of generalized defects GLD was varied
from10to70mm,andthedepthfrom0.1to0.3mm.
Ifanindentationisrecentlyformed,itmayhaverelativelysharpedges.Itwasassumedthat
suchdefectscanberepresentedbygeneralizeddefectswithparabolicgeometries,because
of the similarity between parabolic and sine profiles. For example, if an indentation is
recentlyformeditmayhaveaprofileC202(redlineinFigure4.2).Underthewheelloadthe
edges of an indentation are deformed and after a few wheel passages become smoother.
ThentheprofilewilllookmorelikeG302:theinnerpartsofprofileC202isconformaltoG302,
buttheedgesarebattered(orangelineinFigure4.2).

Depth, mm

-0.05
-0.1
-0.15

C202
G302

-0.2

C302

-0.25
-10

10
Length, mm

20

30

Figure4.2:GeometryofdefectswithsharpedgesCLDandbatterededgesGLD.

To model recently formed indentations, the generalized defects with sharp edges were
modelledwithpolynomialsofthesecondorder:
2

CLD

2x
D 1 D ,
L

(4.2)

ThemeaningoftheindexesisthesameasforGLD.Thelengthofthemodelleddefectswith
sharpedgeswasvariedfrom10to40mm,andthedepthfrom0.1to0.3mm.Defectsabove
40mmareconsideredtoolargeforindentationsinthisthesis.Noticethatthelengthofthe
defectwithbatterededgesis1.5timesofthelengthofthecorrespondingdefectwithsharp
45

Chapter4

edges, such as, for example, G302 and C202 (orange and red lines in Figure 4.2), but defect
withthesamelengthG302andC302 haveverydifferentinnerpart(orangeandgreenlinein
Figure4.2).
4.2.2. ABAatvariedgeometryofshorttrackdefects
TheFEmodeldescribedandvalidatedinchapter3wasappliedtothesimulationofABAat
thegeneralizeddefectsGLDandCLD.Sincesquatsweremoreoftenobservedaroundsleepers
thaninthemidspan[17],thesimulateddefectswerealsolocatednearasleeper.Abscissa
zero of Figure 4.2 (the leading edge of defects CLD) was 10 cm before the centre of the
sleeper.
TheresultsofnumericalsimulationsshowthatthemagnitudeofABAisdependentonboth
length(Figure4.3,Figure4.4)anddepthofsquats(Figure4.5)inthesimulatedrangewith
squat'slengthfrom10to70mmanddepthfrom0.1to0.3mm.ThehighestABAvaluewas
143m/s2obtainedforasquatof45mmlongand0.3mmdeep,whichwasnotthelongestof
simulateddefects.TherelationbetweenABAandthelengthofsquatsisnonlinear.TheABA
at the smallest defect (10 mm long and 0.1 mm deep) was only 19 m/s2. It would be very
difficulttodetectsuchsmalldefectonlyfromthemagnitudeofABA;frequencycontentof
ABAshouldalsobeemployed.
TheaveragewavelengthoftheABAsignalswas30mmatdefectsfrom10mmto45mmlong
(Figure 4.3). This is also valid for defects with different depth (Figure 4.5) and different
profiles (Figure 4.6). Hence the wavelength of ABA was not influenced by the length and
depth of defects in this range; it was only influenced by the natural frequencies of the
system.Thus,itwasconfirmedthatthewavelength30mmischaracteristicatsquatsof10
mm to 45 mm long. However, for squats longer than 45 mm there is a trend that each 3
wavesof30mmwavelengthcombineintoonewaveofabout90mm(Figure4.4).
Figure4.6representstheABAatthedefectsofFigure4.2.ThedifferenceinthemaximalABA
between the defects G302 and C302 is 20%. These two defects have the same length and
depth,butdifferentprofiles.Therefore,notonlythelengthandthedepthofthesquatare
relatedtoABAmagnitude,butalsothegeometryoftheverticallongitudinalprofile,suchas,
for example, the area enclosed by the verticallongitudinal profile of a defect and the
horizontal line representing the corresponding profile of smooth rail (Figure 4.2). The
differenceinmaximalmagnitudebetweenthedefectswithconformalinnerparts,G302 and
C202,isonly10%,sincethedifferenceintheareasissmaller.

46

Signaturetunesofsquats

150

G102
G152
G302
G452

Acceleration,m/s2

100
50
0
50
100
50

50
100
Position,mm

150

200

Figure4.3:ABAatdefectswithdifferentlengthfrom10to45mm.

150
G452
G602

Acceleration,m/s2

100

G702
50
0
50
100
50

50
100
Position,mm

150

200

Figure4.4:ABAatdefectswithlengthfrom45to70mm.
150
G301
G302

100
Acceleration,m/s2

G303
50
0
50
100
50

50
100
Position,mm

150

Figure4.5ABAatdefectswithdifferentdepth.

47

200

Chapter4

150
C202

Acceleration,m/s2

100

G302
C302

50
0
50

100
50

50
100
Position,mm

150

200

Figure4.6ABAatdefectswithsharpedgesC202andC302versusdefectwithbatterededgesG302.

4.2.3. PSDofABAatarangeofdefectsizes
ThePSDofABAatalightsquatwascomparedtotheoneonasmoothrailwithoutdefectsin
Figure 4.7. The PSD increases at the following frequencies compared to the PSD of the
smoothrail:around300Hz,920Hz,1060Hz,1160Hz,1250Hz,1400Hz,1530Hzand1900
Hz.ThesefrequencieswereobservedatallthesimulateddefectsGLDandCLD;thereforethey
canbeusefulfordetectionofsquats.ThePSDabove2000Hzisalmostidenticaltotheone
ofthesmoothrail.ThefrequencieswiththehighestPSDamongalldefectsare300Hzand
1060Hz(Figure4.8).Thesetwofrequenciesandanumberoffrequenciesbetween1000and
2000Hzcouldbethesignaturetunesofsquats.
20
G103

18
16

Smoothrail

PSD,(m/s2)2/Hz

14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
0

1000

2000

3000

Frequency,Hz

Figure4.7IncreasedPSDatsquats.

48

Signaturetunesofsquats

400

PSD,(m/s2)2/Hz

300

200

100

0
0

200

400

600

800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000


Frequency,Hz

Figure4.8ThefrequencieswithhighestPSDofdefectsC101C403.Thetrendsofthecurveswithrespectto
lengthanddepthofdefectsareshowninFigure4.9Figure4.10.

ThePSDisdependentonthelength(Figure4.9)anddepthofsquats(Figure4.10).Figure4.9
representstherelationbetweenthemajortwofrequenciesandthelengthofdefects.The
depthofthedefectsinthisplotwas0.2mm.ThePSDat300Hzincreaseswiththegrowthof
lengthofdefects.ThePSDat1060Hzincreasesuntilthelengthofdefectsisabout40mm,
andthendecrease.Fromthisplotitcanalsobeconcludedthatthefrequencyof1060Hzis
necessary for detection of light squats (up to 30 mm long), since the other frequency, i.e.
300Hz,islesspronouncedinthisrange.Forsquatsbetween30and60mmbothfrequencies
canbeusedfordetectionandforseveresquatsof60mmandlonger,300Hzalonecouldbe
sufficient for detection. Further, the frequency of 300 Hz can be used for assessment of
severityofsquats.IntherangeconsideredthePSDincreaseswiththedepthforallthemajor
frequencycomponents(Figure4.10).
200
PSD300Hz
PSD1060Hz

150
100
50
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

Length,mm

60

70

80

Figure4.9:PSDvs.lengthofdefects.Thedepthofthedefectswas0.2mm.

49

Chapter4

250
G301

PSD,(m/s2)2/Hz

200

G302
G303

150
100
50
0
0

500

1000

1500

2000

Frequency,Hz

Figure4.10PSDofABAatdefectswithdifferentdepth.

4.3. VARIATIONOFTRAINSPEED
4.3.1. Geometryofthemodelleddefect
In chapter 1 it was indicated that speed dependency is one of the drawbacks of ABA
measurements. In this section the relation between ABA and train speed is investigated
through numerical simulations and the possibility to eliminate the influence of the train
speedthroughamappingisdiscussed.
TheABAattheartificialdefectwasinvestigatedwithrunningspeedsbetween20and160
km/h.Thephotoandgeometrymeasurementofthesimulatedartificialdefectareshownin
Figure4.11.TheyarethesameastheoneusedinChapter3.

Wave1 Wave2

20mm 27mm 36mm

Verticaldeviation,mm

Wave3

37mm

0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
100 80 60 40 20

20

Position,mm

40

60

80 100

(b)

(a)

Figure4.11Thephotoandverticallongitudinalprofileoftheartificialdefect.TheyarethesameasFigure3.4
andthebluelineintheFigure3.5.

50

Signaturetunesofsquats

4.3.2. ABAwithvariedspeed
ABAwavelength

4.3.2.3

SincethewavelengthsofABAsignalsaredependentontherunningspeed,theABAsignals
werecomparedinthetimedomain(Figure4.12(ab)).Thesignalswerefilteredwithalow
pass Butterworth filterwith cutoff frequencyof 2000 Hzand shiftedso that thefirst ABA
peakscoincide.
150
Acceleration,m/s 2

100
50
0
50
100
150
2

Time,ms
Speed20

Speed40

Speed60

(a) Trainspeedsfrom20to60km/h

Acceleration,m/s2

150
100
50
0
50
100
150
2

Time,ms
Speed80
Speed120

Speed100
Speed140

Speed108
Speed160

(b)Trainspeedsfrom80to160km/h
Figure4.12ABAcalculatedwithdifferentspeeds.

The magnitude of the ABA signal is dependent on train speed: the vibration amplitude is
largerforhigherspeeds.Thewaveformwasverysimilarintimedomainforthetrainspeeds
from80to160km/h(Figure4.12(b)).Theaveragewavelengthwasabout38mmfornormal
51

Chapter4

traffic speed of 140 km/h. This is in agreement with the wave pattern on the rail surface
followingtheartificialdefect(Figure4.8(a)).

4.3.2.4

ABAmagnitude

Figure4.13showstherelationbetweenthemaximumABAvaluesandthetrainspeed.These
datawerefittedwithpolynomialfunctionofthethirdorder:
ABAmax=9E05v30.0273v2+2.9679v+1.2974, v 20,160

(4.3)

wherevistrainspeedinkm/handABAmaxismaximumABAinm/s2.TheRMS(rootmean
square)errorofthepolynomialfitwas5.8m/s2.
TheABAincreasesfastfortrainspeedsbetween20and60km/handabove140km/h;while
between 60 and 140 km/h the increase is only from 100 and 120 m/s2 (Figure 4.13). This
suggeststhatwithintherangeofspeedsbetween60and140km/htherelation(4.3)maybe
approximatedwithasimplelinearfunction(greenlineinFigure4.13):
ABAmax=0.2383v+89.766; v 60,140

(4.4)

TheRMSerrorofthelinearfitwas5.9m/s2between60and140km/h.
Fromthisstudyitcanbeconcludedthatwithinthespeedrangebetween60and140km/h
the ABA is less depended on train speed and the relation between the ABA and the train
speed may be considered as linear. However, the relation (4.4) was obtained only for one
defect. In order to be able to make a mapping between ABA and speed it is necessary to
makefurtherinvestigationwithvariationofbothtrainspeedandseverityofsquats.
160

ABA,m/s2

140
120
100
80
60
40
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

Speed,km/h
ABAmax

Linearcurvefitting

Polinomialcurvefitting

Figure4.13:RelationbetweenmaximumABAandtrainspeed.

52

Signaturetunesofsquats

4.3.3. PSDofABAwithvariedspeed
FromFigure4.14onecanseethatthepoweroffirstmajorcharacteristicfrequencyofABA,
about 300 Hz (PSD300), changes very little with the train speed. The relation between the
PSD300andthetrainspeedcanbeapproximatedwithpolynomialfunctionofthethirdorder:

PSD300=0.0003v30.0796v2+7.4472v108.66, v 20,160

(4.5)

The power of the second major characteristic frequency around 1000 Hz (PSD1000) is
significantlydependentonthetrainspeed.TherelationbetweenthePSD1000 andthetrain
speedcanbeapproximatedwithpolynomialfunctionofthesecondorder.
PSD1000=0.0328v20.0071v4.4725, v 20,160

(4.6)

1000

PSD,(m/s2)2/Hz

PSD1000
PSD300

800

PSD1000approximation

600

PSD300approximation

400
200
0
0

20

40

60

80 100 120 140 160 180


Speed,km/h

Figure4.14:RelationbetweenPSDofaccelerationandtrainspeed.

4.4. VARIATIONOFLOCATIONOFASQUAT
In[17]itwasindicatedthatmoresquatsarefoundaroundsleepersthanbetweenthem.To
investigaterelationbetweenlocationofthesquatandABA,twocaseswerecalculated:the
defect located in the middle of the sleeper span and on the sleeper, see Figure 4.15. The
geometryofthesimulateddefectwastheoneoftheartificialdefectinFigure4.11.

53

Chapter4

v
0.3

0.6

Figure4.15:Positionsofdefects.

ThemagnitudeofthefirstpeakofABA,whichiscausedbyforcedvibrations,isthesamefor
thesetwocases(Figure4.16).Hence,itwasnotaffectedbythelocationofthedefect.The
wavelengthoftheABAisdependentonthelocationofthedefectrelativetothesleeper.It
was varied from 24 mm for the defect located on the sleeper to 30 mm for between the
sleepers.
150
Position0.3m
Position0.6m

Acceleration,m/s2

100
50
0
50
100
150
30

30

60

Position,mm

90

120

Figure4.16ABA

Figure 4.17 shows that the first characteristic frequency 300 Hz is the same and it is not
dependent on the location of the defect; the second characteristic frequency component
changes its value from 1050 Hz, for defect located on the sleeper, to 1150 Hz, for defect
locatedbetweenthesleepers.

54

Signaturetunesofsquats

800

PSD,(m/s2)2/Hz

Position0.3m
Position0.6m

600
400
200
0
0

500

1000

1500

2000

Frequency,Hz

Figure4.17PSD

Figure4.18showsWPSofthecalculatedcasesonlinearscale.Theredareasaroundabscissa
zero indicate the defects. For the defect which is between the sleepers the high energy
response appears at about 1200 Hz; after 150 mm, when the wheel approaches the next
sleeper,thefrequencydropsto1000Hz.Forthedefectwhichislocatedonthesleeper,the
responseappearsat1000Hz.

(a)Position0.30m

(b)Position0.6m
Figure4.18WPSatartificialdefectswithdifferentpositionsrelativetothesleeper.Thesignalsalignedso
thatpositionzeroisatthedeepestpointoftheartificialdefect.

55

Chapter4

4.5. TRACKPARAMETERS
IthasbeenshownabovethatthemajorfrequenciesobservedinABAatsquatsarethesame
for all squats, only their power is dependent on severity of squats. Therefore, these
frequencies can be the natural frequencies of the vehicletrack system. Even if the
measurementsareperformedonthesamevehicle,thesignaturetunesofsquatsmightbe
dependent on the natural frequencies of the track, which are varied at different track
structuresandtrackparameters.Forthisreason,thenaturalfrequenciesofthetracksystem
shouldbestudiedandcomparedtothesignaturetunesofsquats.
4.5.1. Frequencyresponsefunctionofthetrack

4.5.1.1

FEmodel

Afrequencyresponsefunctionortransferfunctionexpressesthestructuralresponsetoan
appliedforceasafunctionofvibrationfrequencies.Theresponsemaybegivenintermsof
displacement,velocity,oracceleration.Thetransferfunctionwhichdescribestheresponse
of the structure in terms of displacement is called receptance; similar function which
describes the response in terms of acceleration is called inertance. The transfer functions
helptodeterminetheresonantfrequenciesofthetrack.
Track receptance was estimated with FE method. The FE model included the rail and its
support,seeFigure4.19.Tominimizetheeffectofwavereflectionfromrailends,thelength
of the simulated rail was 20 m. The track parameters were the same as in the previous
simulations(Table3.1).Thecorrectnessofsuchmodelisvalidatedbelow.

Figure4.19TheFEmodelofthetrack:only6sleeperspansareshown.Thelengthoftheentiremodelis20m.

Tocalculatereceptance,ananalysistechniquecalledharmonicanalysiswasemployed.This
techniqueiscapableofpredictingthedynamicbehaviourofthestructure,byestimatingthe

56

Signaturetunesofsquats

steadystate response of a linear structure to loads that vary harmonically with time. The
responseofthestructurewascalculatedatseveralfrequencies.
Aloadof20N,varyingharmonicallyinthefrequencyrangefrom100to2000Hz,wasapplied
totherail.Twosimulationswereperformed:withtheloadappliedabovethesleeperandin
themidspan,asshowninFigure4.20.Theloadwasappliedinthemiddleofthemodel,far
fromtherailends.
Force

Force

Railpad

Ballast
L/2

L/2

Figure4.20Configurationforharmonicanalysis.

4.5.1.2

Classificationofthetrackvibrationmodes

The classification of the rail vertical modes has been presented previously in a number of
works,forexample,[1],[35],[63],and[64].Theverticalvibrationmodesofaballastedtrack
arethefollowing.Fulltrackresonance,whichisalsocalledtheinphasevibrationmode,is
verticalvibrationoftherailmovingtogetherwiththesleepers.Forballastedtrack,fulltrack
resonanceliesinthemidfrequencyrange,asdefinedinchapter1.Sleeperantiresonance
is a vibration mode when the rail shows hardly any movement, while the sleepers
experienceresonance.Railresonance,whichisalsocalledoutofphasevibrationmode,isa
vibrationoftherailrelativetothesupport;itcorrespondstotheoppositevibrationofthe
railandsleepers.Railverticalresonanceliesinthemidorhighfrequencyrange,depending
ontherailpadparameters.Pinpinresonanceisavibrationoftherailwiththewavelength
oftwicesleeperspacing,withtherailspinnedatthesleepers.Thepinpinresonanceoccurs
in the high frequency range. Pinpin resonance is a vibration mode that appears at a
fundamentalmodeandseveralhighermodes.However,thefundamentalmodehashigher
amplitude[65].
ThereceptancefunctioncalculatedbyharmonicresponseanalysisisshownFigure4.21.The
receptanceshowsanantiresonanceat320Hz,whichshouldbethesleeperantiresonance.
Theresonanceobservedat1000Hzshouldbetherailresonance.Toconfirmthesevibration
modes,modalanalysisispresentedbelow.Thenextresonanceisobservedonlyinthemid
57

Chapter4

spanat1180Hz,whileonsupportanantiresonanceisobservedatthesamefrequency.This
isthepinpinresonance.TheseresultsagreewiththeresultspresentedbyGrassieetal.in
[66],whereitwasshownthatthefrequencyresponseofthetracktoaharmonicforcevaries
as the point of application of the force moves through the sleeper span. In the higher
frequencyrangethereareanothertworesonancesat1740Hzand1920Hz.
1.E05
Onsupport

Receptance,m/N

Midspan
1.E06

1.E07

1.E08
0

500

1000

1500

2000

Frequency,Hz

Figure4.21ReceptancebyFEharmonicanalysis.

4.5.1.3

Modesofvibrations

To determine the modes of vibrations of the track corresponding to the resonance


frequencies estimated above, modal analysis was employed. Two track models were
estimated: preloaded track, including the track and the wheel (Figure 3.2); and unloaded
track,withonlythetrack(seeFigure4.19).
Themodesofthepreloadedtrackwerecalculatedintwosteps.Firstly,astaticanalysiswas
performedtocalculatethestressstate.Thenthemodalanalysiswasperformed,takinginto
accounttheeffectofthestress.Thereisalimitationinmodalanalysis:anynonlinearitysuch
ascontactisignored.Therefore,thestiffnessofthecontactelementswascalculatedbased
ontheirinitialstatus,anddidnotchange,whichresultedinlargerpenetration.Themodesof
the unloaded track were calculated only with the second step, which is a modal analysis
wherethestructurewasassumedtobestressfree.
Figure 4.22 (a) shows the full track resonance, when the rail vibrates together with the
sleepers. For unloaded track full track resonance was observed at 90 Hz. Figure 4.22 (b)
presents the sleeper antiresonance. The red and blue colours indicate the maximum
amplitudesofthevibrationintheoppositedirections,respectively.Thevibrationamplitudes
ofthesleepersarehigherthantheonesoftherail.Thesleeperantiresonancewasobserved
at307Hz,whichisinagreementwiththe320Hzobtainedbyharmonicresponseanalysis.
Therailresonancewasobservedat1006Hz(Figure4.22(c)).Atrailresonancetherailand
sleepers moves in opposite direction. This is represented by the colours in Figure 4.22 (c):
greensleepersmovedownwardsandlightgreensleepersmoveupwards.Therailresonant
58

Signaturetunesofsquats

frequencyisinagreementwiththeoneobtainedbyharmonicresponseanalysis.Figure4.22
(d) shows the pinpin resonance with the wavelength of twice sleeper spacing and zero
amplitudeatsleepers.Thepinpinresonancewasobservedat1192Hz.
Theeffectofthepreloadwassignificantonlyonthefulltrackresonance,whichwas38Hz
for preloaded track; for the rest of the resonant frequencies of the preloaded track the
differenceswerelessthan1.6%comparedtothefrequenciesofunloadedtrack(Table4.1).
In reality the effect of the preload can be more significant [67]; although it was not
observedinthismodelduetoitslinearbehaviour.

(a)Fulltrackmode

(b)Sleeperantiresonancemode

(c)Railverticalmode

(d)Pinpinmode

(e)Colourbar
Figure4.22Trackvibrationmodes:(a)fulltrackresonance;(b)sleeperantiresonance;(c)railvertical
mode;(d)pinpinresonance.Thecoloursindicatethemagnitudeofvibrations.

59

Chapter4

Validationofthefrequencyresponsefunction

4.5.1.4

TheresultsobtainedbytheFEtimedomainsimulation,theFEharmonicanalysisandmodal
analysis were validated by a hammer test in the track. The hammer test is an impact test
conductedontherailwaytrack,wheretheimpactloadandtrackaccelerationsaremeasured
in order to calculate the frequency response function. The impact load applied with a
hammer was measured with a force sensor in the hammer. The response of the track
structure was measured with accelerometers mounted close to the excitation points. The
configuration for the hammer test was similar to the one shown in Figure 4.20: the
excitationpointswereabovethesleeperandinthemidspan.Thetestlocationswerefree
fromrailtopdefectssuchassquatsorcorrugation.
Thefrequencyresponsefunctioniscalculatedasfollows[1],[68]:
2

H wF ( f )

S ww ( f )
;
S FF ( f )

(4.7)

where H wF ( f ) is complex transfer function; S FF ( f ) and S ww ( f ) are autospectra of the


forceandresponserespectively,whichareobtainedbymeansofFourierTransform;andfis
vibrationfrequency.
Theinertancecalculatedfromthehammertestbyformula(5.1)ispresentedinFigure4.23.
The full track resonance was observed at 100 Hz, sleeper antiresonance at 280 Hz, rail
resonance at 1008 Hz and pinpin resonance at 1150 Hz. There are also a number of
resonancesinthehigherfrequencyrange:1360Hz,1580Hzand1880Hz.Theseresultsare
inagoodagreementwiththeresultsofFEsimulation,theharmonicresponseanalysisand
themodalanalysis.
1.E+00
Onsupport

Inertance,1/kg

Midspan
1.E01

1.E02

1.E03
0

500

1000

1500

2000

Frequency,Hz

Figure4.23Inertancebyhammertestonthetrack.

60

Signaturetunesofsquats

4.5.2. Relationbetweensignaturetunesofsquatsandtrackparameters
Table 4.1 summarizes the results obtained by FE simulations of ABA, harmonic analysis,
modalanalysisandhammertest.Thefrequenciesobtainedbythedifferentmethodsagree
with each other. Notice that smalldifferences in resonant frequenciescan be because the
measured track may have already degraded, while the FE model uses the nominal track
parameters. These differences arenegligible. Hence, the presented FEmodel is capable of
reproducingthehighfrequencytrackvibrations.
Table4.1:Trackresonantfrequencies.
Signature
tunes

Harmonic Stressfree Prestressedmodal Hammer


analysis modalanalysis
analysis
test

Resonance

90

38

100

Fulltrack

300

320

307

308

280

Sleeperantiresonance

1000

1000

1006

1012

1008

Railvertical

1160

1180

1192

1211

1150

Pinpinresonance

1530

1584

1587

1580

Railvertical

1900

1920

1926

1926

1880

Railvertical

Comparingthesignaturetunesofsquatstotrackresonances,itbecomesclearthatthefirst
majorfrequencycomponentofABA,about300Hz,isasleeperantiresonance.Thesecond
majorfrequencyobservedinABAwhenthesquatislocatedaroundthesleeper,about1000,
is rail resonance. When the squat is located between the sleepers, the second major
frequencyofABAisabout1160Hz,whichispinpinresonance.Thehigherfrequenciesare
railvibrationmodes.
Since the signature tunes of squats are the natural frequencies of the track, they are
dependentontrackparameters.Ifthetrackisconsideredasasimplesystemoftwodegrees
offreedom(therailandthesleeper),thesleeperantiresonancefrequencyisdeterminedby
thestiffnessofrailpadsandofballast,aswellasthemassofsleeper[1].Inrealityitmaybe
alsodependentontherailfasteningsystem.Therailresonanceismainlydependentonthe
railpadstiffnessandthemassoftherail.
The pinpin resonance is mainly determined by the rail, and not affected by the track
stiffness and sleepers. The pinpin resonance can be estimated as the fundamental
frequencyofasimplysupportedbeamoflengthL.IftheEulerBernoullibeamtheoryisused,
itcanbeestimatedasfollows[69]:
61

Chapter4

f pp

2L

EI

mr

(4.8)

whereEIisbendingstiffnessoftherail;Lissleeperspacingandmrismassofrailperunitof
length.
Since the signature tunes of squats are dependent on track parameters, the detection
algorithm should be adjusted for each track. For this reason, the sleeper antiresonances,
therailresonanceandthepinpinresonanceshouldbedetectedfirst.Thiscanbemeasured,
forexample,byhammertest.
Any frequency in the first column of Table 4.1 may be related to squats. The sleeper anti
resonance and pinpin resonance are also related to the formation of corrugation [70].
Hence, the detection of squats on corrugated track by making use of only these two
frequencies may be problematic, especially light squats with low ABA magnitude. In this
case,fordetectionoflightsquatsthefrequenciesabout1530Hzand1900Hzcanbeused.
4.6. CONCLUSIONS
In this chapter the signature tunes of squats were investigated. It was found that the
frequencies related to squats are 300 Hz, 1060 Hz, 1160 Hz, 1530 Hz and 1900 Hz. These
frequenciesarethesleeperantiresonance,therailresonancesandpinpinresonanceofthe
track.Sincethesignaturetunesofsquatsarethenaturalfrequenciesofthetrack,theymay
varyfordifferenttracks.Thesleeperantiresonanceandpinpinresonancesarealsorelated
to corrugation. Therefore, for the detection of light squats on corrugated track higher
frequencycomponentshavetobeused,suchasthosebetween1000and2000Hz.
ItwasalsofoundthatoneofthecharacteristicABAfrequenciesatsquatsisdependenton
thepositionofthesquatrelativetothesleeperandchangesfrom1060to1160Hz.
Thefrequencyof10601160Hzisnecessaryfordetectionoflightsquats(upto30mmlong).
Forsquatsbetween30and60mmthefrequencies300Hzand10601160Hzcanbeused
fordetection,andforseveresquatsof60mmandlonger,300Hzcanbeusedfordetection.
The frequency of 300 Hz can also be used for assessment of severity of squats. This
possibilitywillbefurtherinvestigatedinchapter5.
The magnitude of ABA is dependent on length and depth of squats, but also the vertical
longitudinal profile. These are the intermediate results that will be further used in the
investigation of relation between ABA magnitude and squat, which may be employed for
assessmentofseverityofsquats.

62

Signaturetunesofsquats

TherelationbetweenABAandthetrainspeedforoneartificialdefectwaspresented.This
relation can be considered linear between 60 and 140 km/h for this defect. The relation
between the train speed and ABA can be further investigated by simulations of defects of
differentseverity.

63

Chapter5

5. ASSESSMENTOFSEVERITYOFSQUATSBYABA
5.1. INTRODUCTION
Inchapter4arelationbetweenABAandseverityofsquatshasbeenindicated.Ithasbeen
foundthatABAmagnitudeisdependentonthelengthanddepthofsquats,andsomeother
characteristicsoftheverticallongitudinalprofileofsquats,suchas,forexample,theareaof
asquatenclosedbytheprofile.ThePSDofthemajorfrequenciesofABAaredependenton
thelengthanddepthofsquats.
In the current chapter the quantitative relationships between ABA and squats are
established. The relationships are validated by field measurements on three tracks. These
relationshipscanbeusedforassessmentofsquatsseverity.
5.2. REGRESSIONANALYSIS
Quantitative relationship between ABA and squats can be investigated by means of
regressionanalysis.Regressionanalysisisatechniqueforanalysingtherelationshipbetween
a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. The relationship could be
eitherlinearornonlinearandmaybeexpressedingeneralasfollows:

y f ( xi , Bi ) ,

(5.1)

wherexiareindependentvariablesorpredictors,yisdependentvariableandBiareunknown
parametersorcoefficients.Theleastsquaresapproachisoftenusedtofittheobserveddata
totheregressionmodelandestimatetheunknownparameters.
Thefollowingmeasuresareusedtovalidatetheregressionmodel.

Significance level indicates whether the found relationship has not occurred by
chance.Thesignificancelevelistestedbypvalue.Smallpvalue(p<0.05)indicates
statistical significance of the regression model, because pvalue denote the
probability of observing such data, given that there is no relationship between
dependentvariablesandpredictors.

F statistical ratio which tests the null hypothesis: the dependent variable is
completelyindependentonthepredictors.IfFratioisgreaterthananFcriticalthe
null hypothesis can be rejected and it can be concluded that there is a relation
betweendependentvariableyandpredictorsxi.TheFcriticalvaluescanbefound
inthestatisticaltablesin[71].

64

AssessmentofseverityofsquatsbyABA

Coefficient of determination R2, which ranges from 0 to 1, is the ratio of the


explainedvariancetothetotalvarianceofthedata.Thisisameasureofhowwell
theregressionapproximatestherealdatapoints.

The importance of each term of the regression model can be assessed by the following
measures:

Student'ststatistics(tvalue)iscalculatedasratioofthe estimateofacoefficient
andstandarderror.Iftvalueisgreaterthanacriticalvalueforacertaindegreeof
freedom, which is the number of coefficients in (5.1), then the model term is
significant.Thecriticaltvaluescanbefoundinthestatisticaltablesin[71].

Significancelevelistestedbypvalue.Whenpvalueislowerthanacriticallevel,the
coefficientcontributessignificantlytothepredictionofthedependentvariable.

If statistical test shows that some of the terms are not significant, these terms can be
droppedfromthemodelandareducedregressionmodelcanbeconstructed.
5.3. DATA
Thedataobtainedinchapter4fromnumericalsimulationsofthegeneralizeddefectsisused
for regression analysis to investigate the relations between ABA characteristics, such as
magnitudeandfrequencycontent,andgeometryofrailsurfacedefect(Table5.1,Table5.2).
Bothtypesofdefects,withsharpandbatterededges,wereanalysed.
It has been found in chapter 4 that ABA magnitude and its maximum PSD around 300 Hz
(PSD300Hz) is related to geometrical characteristics of squats. Therefore, the following
relationshipswillbeinvestigated:

the relation between parameters of defects, such as length and depth, and
maximumABA;

therelationbetweenPSD300Hzandparametersofdefectsmentionedabove.

65

Chapter5

Table5.1:MaximumABAandPSD300HzatdefectswithbatterededgesGLD.
Defectgeometry
Defect
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18

G101
G102
G103
G151
G152
G153
G301
G302
G303
G451
G452
G453
G601
G602
G603
G701
G702
G703

Length

Depth

10
10
10
15
15
15
30
30
30
45
45
45
60
60
60
70
70
70

0.1
0.2
0.3
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.1
0.2
0.3

Maximum
ABA,
m/s2
18.8
26.7
32.5
26.6
40.6
47.5
40.9
85.4
108.4
44.3
95.2
142.9
36.5
81.5
134.1
34.7
67.6
114.7

PSD
300Hz
1.55
2.44
2.75
3.48
4.42
4.81
4.83
15.7
25.78
10.04
45.23
94.92
16.27
84.51
191.75
23.23
107.14
262.82

Table5.2:MaximumABAandPSD300HzatdefectswithsharpedgesCLD.
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Defect
C101
C102
C103
C201
C202
C203
C301
C302
C303
C401
C402
C403

Defectgeometry
Length,mm

Depth,mm

10
10
10
20
20
20
30
30
30
40
40
40

0.1
0.2
0.3
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.1
0.2
0.3

66

MaximumABA,
m/s2
25.4
34.5
34.9
38.6
76.2
89.6
46.7
102.0
144.9
39.1
91.2
152.9

PSD
300Hz
2.3
2.5
2.5
3.7
11.8
16.0
8.8
36.6
63.6
15.0
71.1
147.1

AssessmentofseverityofsquatsbyABA

5.4. RELATIONBETWEENTHESQUATANDABAMAGNITUDE
The data obtained by numerical simulations was analysed by a series of statistical tests in
order to find a regression model that fits the data the best. By this, quantitative relation
betweendefectgeometryandABAcanbeestablished.
Sincethetwomeasuresofdefect'sgeometry,lengthanddepth,wereavailable,themultiple
regression technique was employed, with the length and depth as independent variables,
andmaximumABAmagnitudeasdependentvariable.Threemodels,linear,exponentialand
quadraticwereobtainedandevaluated.Thegeneralformsofthesemodelsareasfollows:
Linear: A B1 B2 L B3 D

(5.2)

Exponential: A B1 e( B2 B3 L B4 D )

(5.3)

Quadratic: A B1 B2 L B3 D B4 L2 B5 D 2 B6 LD

(5.4)

whereAismaximumABA,Lislengthofthedefect,DisdepthofthedefectandBiarethe
unknowncoefficientsofregression.
Two cases were evaluated: the first included only defects with battered edges as the
common shape of light squats; the second included both defects with sharp and battered
edges,totakeintoaccounttheveryinitialstageofsquatsformingfromindentations.
5.4.1. Defectswithbatterededges
For defects with battered edges the obtained models for estimation of maximum ABA
magnitudeareasfollows:
Linear: A 29.63 0.83L 315.24 D ,[m/s2]

(5.5)

Exponential: A 25.15 e(3.38 0.009 L 3.64 D ) ,[m/s2]

(5.6)

Quadratic: A 32.30 3.20L 105.44D 0.05L2 107.14D2 6.60LD ,[m/s2](5.7)


ThesemodelswerebasedondatafromTable5.1.Themodelsandtheirvalidationstatistics
arepresentedinTable5.3.Allthreemodelsarestatisticallysignificant,becausethepvalues
arelessthan0.05,andtheFratioisgreaterthantheFcritical,takenfromstatisticaltables
[71].Amongthesemodels,thequadraticmodelfitsthebesttheobserveddata,becausethe
modelexplains96%ofthevarianceinABAvalues(R2=0.96).
These results can also be explained as follows. It was indicated in chapter 4 that ABA
magnitudeisdependentnotonlyondepthandlengthofsquatsbutalsoongeometryofthe

67

Chapter5

verticallongitudinalprofileofsquats.Thefirsttwomodelscontainonlythelengthanddepth
as predictors, while the last model contains also the term LD, which is related to the area
enclosedbytheverticallongitudinalprofileofasquat.
Table5.3:Assessmentofmultipleregressionmodels.
pvalue

Fcritical

R2

0.000187

16.06

3.24

0.68

Exponential

<1017

43.45

3.01

0.71

Quadratic

<1017

180.77

2.74

0.96

Model
Linear

pvaluesignificancelevel,Fstatisticalratio,R2coefficientofdetermination

In order to evaluate contribution of each of the geometric measures of squats for ABA
magnitude, relative importance of each term in the general quadratic regression model
(equation5.7)wascalculated.Theimportanceofeachtermwasassessedwithtvalueandp
value(Table5.4).Thesevalueswerecheckedagainststatisticalstandards[71]:smallvalues
of p (p<0.05) and large value of t ( | t |>2.45 for 6 degrees of freedom) mean that the
corresponding term contributes significantly to the result. The rest of the terms can be
droppedfromtheregression.TheresultspresentedinTable5.4indicatethattermsB2,B4
andB5significantlycontributetotheresult.
Table5.4:Assessmentofthecoefficientofthequadraticregression.Thesignificantcoefficientsare
showninblue.
Coefficient

Estimate

Standarderror

tvalue

pvalue

6degreesoffreedom
B1

32.30

21.4300

1.50711

0.157649

B2

3.20

0.5872

5.45255

0.000147

B3

105.44

202.5212

0.52063

0.612094

B4

0.05

0.0066

7.09382

0.000013

B5

107.14

486.4136

0.22027

0.829365

B6

6.60

1.2701

5.18947

0.000226

Criterion

|t|>2.45

Degreeoffreedom:thenumberofvaluesinthefinalstageofstatisticsthatarefreetovary.

68

p<0.05

AssessmentofseverityofsquatsbyABA

5.4.2. Alldefects
Toassesstheeffectofedgesofdefects,amodelbasedonthedataofdefectswithbattered
edgesandofdefectswithsharpedges(Table5.1Table5.2)wasconstructed.Inviewofthe
assessmentofthethreemodelsabove,onlythequadraticregressionmodelwasconsidered:
A 40.93 3.46L 186.91D 0.05L2 242.00D2 7.13LD ,[m/s2]

(5.8)

Validation statistics for this model is presented in Table 5.5. This model is statistically
significant and explains 91% of the variance in ABA values. Since this model is statistically
significant, it is good enough to estimate the maximum ABA magnitude at both types of
defects. That means that ABA at not only squats but also fresh indentations could be
estimatedbyrelation(5.8).
Table5.5:Assessmentofamultipleregressionmodel.
pvalue

R2

Quadratic

<1017

167.9827

0.91

Criterion

p<0.05

F>2.45

Model

ThequalityoftheselectedquadraticmodelcanbeevaluatedwithFigure5.1,representing
thevaluescalculatedwithFEmodelversuspredictedbyregressionmodel.
200

ABA,m/s2

160
120
80
40
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

Length,mm
Regression,depth0.3
Regression,depth0.2
Regression,depth0.1

FEsimulations,depth0.3
FEsimulations,depth0.2
FEsimulations,depth0.1

Figure5.1:RelationbetweenABAanddefect:FEmodellingandquadraticregression.

Theassessmentofcoefficientsofregression,presentedinTable5.6,indicatesthattermsB2,
B4andB6significantlycontributetoresult.Theothertermscanbeexcludedfromthe
regression.

69

Chapter5

Table5.6:Assessmentofthecoefficientofthequadraticregression.Thesignificantcoefficientsare
showninblue.
Coefficient

Estimate

Standarderror

tvalue

pvalue

6degreesoffreedom
B1

40.933

22.8743

1.78949

0.086164

B2

3.456

0.6348

5.44350

0.000014

B3

186.909

217.8326

0.85804

0.399359

B4

0.053

0.0071

7.44509

0.000000

B5

242.003

524.1186

0.46173

0.648430

B6

7.131

1.5402

4.62986

0.000106

Criterion

|t|>2.45

p<0.05

5.4.3. Reducedmodel
Tominimizethenumberofparametersinthemodelandincreasecomputationalefficiency,
areducedquadraticmodelwasconstructedforestimationofmaximumABAatbothtypesof
defects:withbatterededgesandwithsharpedges.Thereducedmodel,basedondatafrom
Table5.1andTable5.2isasfollows:
A 2.19L 0.04L2 9.15LD ,[m/s2]

(5.9)

TheassessmentofthemodelispresentedinTable5.7.Themodelisstatisticallysignificant.
ThecoefficientofdeterminationR2decreasesto0.89whichisstillanacceptablevalue.The
termspresentedinrelation(5.9)includethelengthofadefect,thelengthsquaredandthe
productofthelengthandthedepth.Sincethosetermsincludebothgeometricalmeasures:
length and depth, they are both important for estimating ABA magnitudes in the given
regression model. Hence, it is not possible to solve the inverse problem and estimate the
lengthordepthofasquatfromABAmagnitudealone.
Table5.7:Assessmentofmultipleregressionmodel.
pvalue

R2

Quadratic

<1017

307.35

0.89

Criterion

p<0.05

F>2.95

Model

70

AssessmentofseverityofsquatsbyABA

Table5.8indicatesthatallthetermsofthemodel(5.9)significantlycontributetotheresult.
Finally,therelation(5.9)canbeusedasrelationbetweenmaximumABAandsquats.
Table5.8Assessmentofthecoefficientsofthequadraticregression
Estimate

Coefficient

Standarderror

tvalue

pvalue

3degreesoffreedom
B2

2.1924

0.2779

7.8896

0.000000

B4

0.0427

0.0040

10.5923

0.000000

B6

9.1468

0.8216

11.1333

0.000000

Criterion

|t|>3.18

p<0.05

5.5. RELATIONBETWEENTHESQUATANDTHEPOWERSPECTRUMOFABA
IthasbeenfoundabovethatABAisdependentonthelengthofadefect,thelengthsquared
andtheproductofthelengthanddepthofadefect(equation(5.9)).Thephysicalmeaning
of the latter is the area enclosed by the verticallongitudinal profile of a defect and a
horizontal line representing a smooth rail, see Figure 5.2. Such an area of a defect with
batterededges(equation4.1)canbeestimatedasfollows:
L

LD 2 l
Dl
LD
D
2 l D

S GLD dl cos
sin
dl

2
4
2
L 2
L 0 2 0
0
0
L

(5.10)

Depth,mm

Length,mm

Figure5.2Theareaenclosedbytheverticallongitudinalprofileofadefectandahorizontallinerepresenting
asmoothrail.

It has been found in chapter 4 that PSD300Hz is dependent on both length and depth of
defects. It is also observed from the data that the relation between the area S and the

71

Chapter5

PSD300Hzis similartoa powerfunction. Thereforearegressionmodelasapowerfunction


wasconstructed:
S P B1

(5.11)

where S is the area enclosed by the defects profile, P is PSD300Hz, and B1 is an unknown
coefficient.
5.5.1. Defectswithbatterededges
Fordefectswithbatterededgesthemodelisfoundasfollows:
S P 0.417 [mm2]

(5.12)

ThismodelwasbasedondatainTable5.1.Validationstatisticsforthismodelispresentedin
Table 5.9. This model is statistically significant and explains 98% of the variance in area S
values.
Table5.9:Assessmentoftheregressionmodel
Model

pvalue

R2
0.98

Powerfunction

<1017

2317.177

Criterion

p<0.05

F>4.49

The assessment of the coefficient of regression is presented in Table 5.10. For degree of
freedom1,tvalueshouldbelargerthan12.7[71].Becauseofthelargetvalueandsmallp
valueshowninthetable,B1significantlycontributestotheresult.
Table5.10:Assessmentofthecoefficientoftheregression.
Coefficient

Estimate

Standarderror

tvalue

pvalue

1degreeoffreedom
B1

0.416825

0.004400

94.74140

<1017

Criterion

|t|>12.706

p<0.05

5.5.2. Alldefects
The model obtained based on Table 5.1 and Table 5.2 for estimation of the area of all
defectsfromPSDisasfollows:
S P 0.416 [mm2]

(5.13)

72

AssessmentofseverityofsquatsbyABA

The difference between models (5.13) and (5.14) is negligible. Notice, that to obtain this
relation,theareasofdefectswithbatterededgeswerecalculatedbyformula(5.10),while
theareasofdefectswithsharpedgeswerecalculatedasfollows:
L

3
2l 2

LD 2l
2 LD
L
0 CLD dl 0 D L 1 D dl 6 L 1 Dl 0 3

0
L

(5.14)

Validation statistics for this model is presented in Table 5.11. This model is statistically
significantandexplains97%ofthevarianceinareaSvalues.
Table5.11:Assessmentoftheregressionmodel
Model

pvalue

R2
0.97

Powerfunction

<1017

2951.162

Criterion

p<0.05

F>4.20

TheassessmentofthecoefficientofregressionispresentedinTable5.12.Becauseoflarget
valueandsmallpvalue,B1significantlycontributestotheresult.
Table5.12:Assessmentofthecoefficientoftheregression.
Coefficient

Estimate

Standarderror

tvalue

pvalue

1degreeoffreedom
B1

0.415558

0.00405

102.6024

<1017

Criterion

|t|>12.706

p<0.05

Figure5.3demonstratesthatthevaluesofareaobtainedbyregressionmodel(5.13)arein
goodagreementwiththeonesobtainedbyformulae(5.10)and(5.14).Thus,theareaScan
beusedasameasureofthedefectanditcanbeassessedbyrelation(5.13).
Itcanbeconcludedfromtheregressionanalysisthattherearetwomethodstoestimatethe
severity of squats: by maximum ABA and by PSD300Hz. The second methods is easier, since
PSD300Hzisdependentonlyonetermareaenclosedbytheverticallongitudinalprofileofa
defect,whileABAisdependentalsoonlengthandlengthsquareofthesquat.

73

Chapter5

12
Regression

10
Area,mm

Area

8
6
4
2
0
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

2 2

PSDat300Hz,(m/s ) /Hz

Figure5.3:RelationbetweenPSDat300Hzandareaofdefect

Another advantage of relation (5.13) comparing to (5.9) is that the magnitude of ABA is
speeddependent,thatis,theobtainedrelation(5.9)isvalidforonespeedonly(110km/h),
whilerelation(5.13)maybeusedforotherspeeds,sincePSD300Hzchangesverylittlewiththe
speed from 40 to 160 km/h (Figure 4.14). For example, in Figure 4.14, representing the
differenceinPSDforspeedbetweensuchaspeedrange,thePSD300Hzwaschangingfrom89
(m/s2)2/Hzto124(m/s2)2/Hz,whichcorrespondstoareaof6.5mm2and7.4mm2.Thiswill
cause a difference of about 0.9 mm2, with a relative error of 14%, which is reasonably
acceptableforengineeringapplications.
Relation(5.13)isnotdependentonlocationofthesquatrelativetothesleeper.ThePSD300Hz
ofsquatlocatedonthesleeperandtheonelocatedbetweenthesleepersinFigure4.18was
275(m/s2)2/Hzand290(m/s2)2/Hzwhichcorrespondtoareaof10.6and10.3mm2.
However, this frequency component is determined by track parameters and may vary
betweentracks.Therefore,relation(5.13)shouldbecalibratedforeachtrack.
As it has been found in chapter 4, it would be difficult to detect light squats with this
frequencycomponentalone,becausethestrengthofthiscomponentistooweakforlight
defects to be distinguished from the noise. Thus, light squats need to be detected by a
combinationofmoresignaturetunesofsquats.Afterthesquatsaredetectedtheirseverity
canbeassessedbyequation(5.13).
5.6. VALIDATIONOFTHEREGRESSIONMODELS
Therelations(5.9)and(5.13)forassessmentofseverityofsquatsfromABAwereobtained
by regression analysis of data simulated with FE model. The generalized defects simulated
with the FE model were 10 to 70 mm long and 0.1 to 0.3 mm deep. The FE model was
calibratedbyABAmeasurementsatthemonitoredtracknearAssen,theNetherlands.Inthis

74

AssessmentofseverityofsquatsbyABA

sectiontherelations(5.9)and(5.13)aredirectlyvalidatedwithfieldmeasurementsonthree
monitored tracks near Assen, Steenwijk and Weert in the Netherlands. The available
measured data included verticallongitudinal profile of the rail top at squats and ABA
measurements.
5.6.1. ValidationofrelationbetweenABAmagnitudeandsquats
ThedataobtainedfromthefieldmeasurementsarepresentedinTable5.13(Assen),Table
5.14(Steenwijk)andTable5.15(Weert).Thelengthanddepthofthesquatswasestimated
frommeasurementsofverticallongitudinalprofileoftherail.Thelengthofthesquatswas
from30mmto90mmandthedepthwasfrom0.02mmto0.24mm.Someoflightsquats
weredifficulttodistinguishfromrailroughnessinthemeasurementsofverticallongitudinal
profile.Thelengthsofsuchsquatsweremeasuredfromphotosandthedepthwasassumed
tobe0.05mm.ThemaximumABAvaluesinTables5.135.15weremeasuredfromthetrain
travelingwithanaveragespeedofabout100km/h.
It was observed that squats are usually shifted from the centre line of the rail. For this
reasonthemeasurementsofverticallongitudinalprofilewerenotmadeatthedeepestpart
of the squat. It has been also shown in Chapter 3 that the measurements of the squats
profileshavetobescaled.Therefore,inthissection,theABAvaluescalculatedbyregression
model (5.9) were scaled. The coefficient for scaling was chosen so, to minimize the RMS
errorbetweentheABAestimatedby(5.9)andmeasuredABA.
Therelation(5.9)wasfirstvalidatedonthemeasurementsinAssen,becausetheFEmodel
forsimulationsofsquatswasvalidatedonthistrack.ForthistracktheABAvaluescalculated
by(5.9)weremultipliedbyscalingcoefficientof1.4.
Table5.13Data,Assen
Defect
Tu182sqC
TU183sqB
TU195
205sqA
NsqA
80c
TU183sqB
TU194
Tu182sqC

Date

Depth,
mm

Length,
mm

ABA
maximum,m/s2

PSD,
(m/s2)2/Hz

Oct10
Oct10
Oct10
Oct10
Oct10
Oct10
Oct10
Nov11
Nov11

0.16
0.04
0.07
0.05
0.05
0.05
0.05
0.10
0.17

60.00
45.00
30.00
50.90
47.00
39.00
40
30.00
60.00

88.90
43.10
23.80
49.40
34.10
34.00
43.10
74.90
123.90

312.50
27.06
3.30
22.55
14.70
18.51
27.50
113.20
578.60

75

Chapter5

Table5.14Data,Steenwijk
Defect

Date

Depth,
mm

Length,
mm

ABA
maximum,m/s2

PSD,
(m/s2)2/Hz

TU120
TU123
TU107
TU108
TU121
TU104
TU108
TU110
TU121
TU118

May10
May10
May10
May10
May10
Jun11
Jun11
Jun11
Jun11
Oct11

0.14
0.03
0.22
0.24
0.14
0.21
0.22
0.13
0.13
0.07

50.00
50.00
70.00
60.00
40.00
60.00
50.00
45.00
40.00
40.00

32.6
19
44.5
52.1
32.3
51
37.8
53.8
38.1
17.9

17.24
10.8
64.99
23.96
15.25
253.6
174
149.2
7.5
2.3

Table5.15Data,Weert
Defect

Date

Depth,mm

Length,mm

ABA
maximum,m/s2

PSD,
(m/s2)2/Hz

TU501
TU504
TU061
TU064
TU063
TU074
TU072

May10
May10
May10
May10
May10
May10
May10

0.03
0.05
0.02
0.07
0.06
0.03
0.03

90.00
40.00
40.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
70.00

45.5
19.9
13.9
20.8
26.1
24.3
24.3

7.32
1.2
0.68
8.35
4.06
2.42
3.81

Figure 5.4(a) shows the ABA calculated by regression model versus the measured ABA in
Assen.TheabscissavaluesarethemaximumABAmagnitudefromthefieldmeasurements,
the ordinate values are ABA obtained by relation (5.9) and scaled. If the measured ABA
coincideswiththeABAestimatedbyregressionmodel,thepointsshouldlieontheredline.
Mostofthepointsliealongtheredline,butthedataisnotenoughtoevaluatetheresults
(only9datapoints).Therefore,thedatafromanothertwotrackswasadded.
Figure5.4(b)showsvalidationoftheregressionmodelbythemeasurementdataobtained
from all the three tracks. The measurements from Steenwijk and Weert were also scaled.
Thescalingcoefficientswere0.53forSteenwijkand0.5forWeert.Thisdiagramincludes26
datapoints.Thedatapointsliealongtheredline.TheRMSerrorswere15m/s2forAssen,
10m/s2forSteenwijkand8m/s2forWeert.

76

AssessmentofseverityofsquatsbyABA

160

160

Measurements
Regressionmodel

ABAregression,m/s2

ABAregression,m/s2

140
120
100
80
60
40
20

Regressionmodel

120
100
80
60
40
20

Measurements

140

20

40 60 80 100 120 140 160


ABAmeasurements,m/s 2

(a)Assen

20

40 60 80 100 120 140 160


ABAmeasurements,m/s 2

(b)Assen,SteenwijkandWeert

Figure5.4RelationbetweenmeasuredandcalculatedABA.

The deviation in the data may be caused by several reasons: the track parameters vary
betweenthetracks,thetrainspeedwasslightlyvaried;themeasurementsoftherailprofile
andhence,theestimationofthelengthanddepthofsquatswasnotaccurateenough;the
maximumABAisdependentonthelocationofthesquatrelativetothesleeper,whichwas
not taken into account in the model (5.9). The difference in maximum ABA for a squat
located on the sleeper and a squat located between the sleepers may be up to 16 m/s2
(Figure4.17).
5.6.2. ValidationofrelationbetweenPSD300Hzandsquats
TherelationbetweenthepowerspectrumofABAandseverityofsquats(equation5.13)was
validated by the measurements (Table 5.13, Table 5.14 and Table 5.15). Since the track
parameters were varied for different tracks, the sleeper antiresonance may occur not at
300 Hz but at other frequency. For the three investigated tracks the maximum PSD was
variedbetween200Hzand400Hz.ThemaximumPSDvaluesbetween200and400Hzare
showninTables5.135.15.
The area of the squats was estimated from measured length and depth by formula (5.10)
andscaledforthereasondiscussedabove.ForthetrackinAssenthescalingcoefficientwas
2.8.TheresultsforAssesarepresentedinFigure5.5(a).Theredlinerepresentstherelation
from equation (5.13), and the blue squares are the data points obtained from the
measurements.
Figure5.5(b)showsvalidationoftheregressionmodelbythemeasurementdataobtained
fromthethreetracks.Thescalingcoefficientsforareaobtainedbythemeasurementswere
1.1 for Steenwijk and 1 for Weert. The RMS errors were 1.4 mm2 for Assen, 2.6 mm2 for
77

Chapter5

Steenwijk and 0.5 mm2 for Weert. The data was concentrated in the area below 5 mm2,
correspondingtolightsquats.
25
Measurements
Regressionmodel

15
10
5

15
10
5

100

200

300

400

PSD,(m/s 2)2/Hz

Regressionmodel

20
Area,mm2

Area,mm2

20

Measurements

25

500

600

100

200

300

400

500

600

2 2

PSD,(m/s ) /Hz

(a)Assen

(b)Assen,SteenwijkandWeert

Figure5.5RelationbetweenthepowerspectrumofABAandareaofsquats.

5.7. CONCLUSIONS
QuantitativerelationshipsbetweenABAandsquatswereestablishedbymeansofregression
analysis.ItwasfoundthatthemaximumABAmagnitudewasdependentonlength,length
squaredandtheproductoflengthanddepthofsquats.ThePSD300Hzwasrelatedtothearea
enclosedbytheverticallongitudinalprofileofsquatandthehorizontallinerepresentinga
smoothrail.Theserelationshipswerevalidatedbyfieldmeasurementsonthreetracks.
The relation between PSD300Hz and the area of squats can be employed for assessment of
severity of squats. It is little influenced by train speed and location difference of squats
relativetosleepers.However,thisfrequencycomponentisdeterminedbytrackparameters
anditshouldbeadjustedfordifferenttracks.
It would bedifficult todetect lightsquats by this frequencycomponent alone. Thus, light
squatsneedtobedetectedbyacombinationofmoresignaturetunesofsquats.Afterthe
squatsaredetectedtheirseveritymaybeassessedbyPSD300Hz.

78

ImprovementoftheABAmeasuringsystem

6. IMPROVEMENTSOFTHEABAMEASURINGSYSTEM
6.1. INTRODUCTION
Inchapter2ithasbeenshownthatABAcanbeappliedtodetectionoflightsquats,butthe
existinginstrumentationandsignalprocessingofABAhavetobeimprovedtoincreasethe
hitrateforlightsquats.Thischapterdiscussessuchimprovements.
ThefirstimprovementwasaninventiontouselongitudinalABAtoenhancesensitivityofthe
measurements to early squats [72]. This invention was based on the analysis of wheel
vibrations, presented in this chapter. A prototype of the improved ABA measuring system
wasconstructedandemployedforsubsequentABAmeasurements.
The second improvement was application of noise reduction techniques. The third
improvementconcernedthesignalprocessingforreductionofdisturbancesfromthewheel
defects.
All these improvements made the signature tunes of squats, identified in early chapters,
morevisibleandeasytodistinguishfromvibrationofotherorigins.
6.2. WHEELVIBRATIONS
This section discusses the wheel vibrations. If the wheel resonant frequencies are close to
thesignaturetunesofsquats,theABAresponsemaybestronger.Ontheotherhand,some
vibrationsofthewheelmayhinderthedetectionofsquats.Therefore,thewheelresonances
needtobeinvestigated.Transferfunctionofthewheelwillalsobeinvestigatedinorderto
determinehowthevibrationsaretransferredfromthewheelrailinterfacetotheaxleofthe
wheel.
6.2.1. Modesofvibrationofthewheel
ThemodesofvibrationsofawheelwereobtainedbystressfreeFEmodalanalysis.TheFE
model included only a single wheel and a half of the axle (Figure 6.1). The detailed wheel
geometrywasnotavailable.Forthisreasonthewheelgeometrywassimplified.Themodel
of the wheel is the same as was used in the FE model for simulation of wheeltrack
interactionatsquatsinchapters3and4.Forthisreasonthemeshwasfineonaboutahalf
ofthewheel,wherethewheelwasincontactwiththerailinthesimulationsofchapters3
and4.

79

Chapter6

Figure6.1FEmodelofthewheel.

ThewheelmodesofvibrationsandtheirclassificationareshowninFigure6.2,wherethered
and blue colours indicate the maximum amplitudes of the vibrations in the opposite
directionsoftheaxle,respectively.Theresonantfrequenciesofthewheelaresummarized
belowinTable6.1andcomparedtotheresonantfrequenciesobtainedbyhammertesting
ofthewheel.

407Hz,Axial,
0nodalcircle,
2nodaldiameters

1104Hz, Axial,
0nodalcircle,
3nodaldiameters

1566Hz,Axial,
1nodalcircle,
1nodaldiameters

1369Hz,Axial,
2nodalcircle,
0nodaldiameters

1763Hz,Radial,
2nodaldiameters

80

1993Hz,Axial,
1nodalcircle,
2nodaldiameters

ImprovementoftheABAmeasuringsystem

1997Hz,Axial,
1nodalcircle,
0nodaldiameters

2006Hz, Axial,
0nodalcircle,
4nodaldiameters

2485Hz,Radial,
3nodaldiameters

2544Hz,Axial,
1nodalcircle,
3nodaldiameters

Colourbar

Figure6.2Wheelmodeshapes;thecolourshowsthedisplacementinaxisdirection.

6.2.2. Transferfunction
Hammertestwasperformedonthewheeltoinvestigatethetransferfunctionbetweenthe
loadappliedatthewheelrimandtheresponsemeasuredattheaxlebox.Theotherreason
forhammertestwastovalidatetheresonantfrequenciesobtainedbymodalanalysisofthe
simplifiedwheel.Theloadwasappliedtothewheelriminverticaldirection.Theresponses
wereobtainedinverticalandlongitudinaldirectionbyaccelerometersmountedontheaxle
box.
Figure 6.3 shows inertance of the wheel calculated by formula (4.5). Below 1500 Hz the
inertanceisnotsmooth.Thiscanbebecauseofthenoiseinthemeasurements.Therefore,it
is difficult to distinguish the resonances. The resonance around 496 Hz might be the

81

Chapter6

vibrationmodeat407Hzobtainedbymodalanalysis.Theresonantfrequenciesabove1500
Hzarethefollowing:1570Hz,1730Hz,1980,2080Hz,2290Hz,2410Hz,2470Hz.

Inertance, 1/kg

0.1

0.01

0.001

0.0001
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

Frequency, Hz
Vertical response

Longitudinal response

Figure6.3Inertancebyhammertestonthewheel.

Theresonantfrequenciesobtainedbyhammertestandmodalanalysisarecomparedin
Table6.1.AlthoughthegeometryofthewheelwassimplifiedintheFEmodel,theresultsof
themodalanalysisareinagreementwiththehammertestformostofthefrequencies.
Table6.1:Resonantfrequenciesofthewheel.

Hammer

Modal

test

analysis

Resonance

496

407

Axial,0nodalcircle,2nodaldiameters

1050

1104

Axial,0nodalcircle,3nodaldiameters

1370

1369

Axial,2nodalcircle,0nodaldiameters

1570

1566

Axial,1nodalcircle,1nodaldiameters

1730

1763

Radial,2nodaldiameters

1980

1993

Axial,1nodalcircle,2nodaldiameters

2080

1997

Axial,1nodalcircle,0nodaldiameters

2290

2006

Axial,0nodalcircle,4nodaldiameters

2410

2485

Radial,3nodaldiameters

10

2470

2544

Axial,1nodalcircle,3nodaldiameters

Thefrequencyof11041050HzinTable6.1isclosetothesignaturetuneobservedinABA
atsquats.Thereforethecorrespondingwheelmodesmayalsobeexcitedduringwheelrail

82

ImprovementoftheABAmeasuringsystem

interaction at squats and may reinforce the signature tune in ABA. Since no other modes
weredistinctlyobservedinABA,wemayconcludethatthecontributionofthewheelmodes
to ABA in the investigated frequency range (400 2500 Hz) is negligible in nominal rolling
conditions.
Thefrequencyresponseobtainedinlongitudinaldirectionisstrongerthantheverticalone
between820and2200Hz(Figure6.3).Hence,thesignaturetunesofsquatsabove1000Hz
should be stronger in longitudinal ABA. This will be implemented in the prototype of the
improved ABA measuring system, where both vertical and longitudinal ABA signals will be
recorded.
6.3. ABAMEASUREMENTSWITHIMPROVEDINSTRUMENTATION
With improved instrumentation, vertical ABA measurements were supplemented with
longitudinalABAmeasurements.Inotheraspectsthemeasurementsweresimilartotheone
fortrialmeasurements.ThemeasureddatawereABA,GPS,trainspeed,andtimepulsefor
synchronizationofGPSandABA.
ThesamplingrateofthemeasuredABAwas25.6kHz.Accordingtosamplingtheorem,no
informationislostbyregularsamplingprovidedthatthesamplingfrequencyisgreaterthan
twice the highest frequency component in the waveform being sampled [47]. As we are
interestedinthefrequenciesupto2.5kHz,suchsamplingfrequencyisenoughforaccurate
measurements. GPS were measured with sampling frequency of 1 Hz, synchronized with
ABAandinterpolatedto25.6kHz.
The travelled distances calculated from train speed were corrected to match the
conventionalkilometreposition,usinginsulatedrailjointsasreference.ABAmeasurements
havebeenperformedsince2009onseveraltracks.
The longitudinal ABA is more sensitive to track defects than the vertical one. This is
demonstrated in Figure 6.4. At the same defect, the magnitude of longitudinal ABA is 1.4
timeshigherthantheverticalone.
ByusinglongitudinalABAthehitrateofmoderatesquatswasimprovedfrom60%to100%.
The effect of usage of longitudinal ABA to the hit rate of light squats will be presented in
section6.4.5.

83

Chapter6

(a)VerticalABA

(b)LongitudinalABA

Figure6.4VerticalandLongitudinalABAatanartificialdefect.

6.4. IMPROVEMENTOFSIGNALPROCESSINGOFABA
6.4.1. Noisereduction
Todistinguishasmalldefectfromthenoise,noisereductiontechniqueshavetobeapplied.
Rompelman and Ros [73] presented a noise reduction technique based on coherent
averaging. The coherent averaging method is based on the principle that the time signal,
measured immediately after applying a stimulus, contains the invariant response to the
stimulus and a noise component. When averaging a number of similar time signals, all
invariant responses are systematically added, while the random noise components are
summed and tend toward zero. The noise reduction becomes more effective when the
numberofaveragedsamplesisincreased.
Fortheapplicationofanaveragingtechniqueitisnecessarytoknowtheexactmomentof
eachstimulus.IncaseofABAmeasurements,repeatedsignalswererecordedonthesame
tracksection,andoverlappedinthewaythattheresponsesatacertainshorttrackdefects
start at the same location. To overlap the signals, cross correlation of the signals was
calculated.
The crosscorrelation function is a measure of the similarity between two data sets. It is
often applied to determine the time shift which maximizes the similarity of two data sets.
Onedatasetismovedrelativetotheotherandthecorrespondingvaluesofthetwodata
setsaremultipliedtogetherandtheproductssummedtogivethevalueofcrosscorrelation
[47].Thecrosscorrelationoftwodatasetsxtandytisexpressedasfollows:

xy xk yk

(6.1)

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ImprovementoftheABAmeasuringsystem

where ( ) isthecrosscorrelation,andisthedisplacementofdatasetytrelativetodata
setxt.
Whentwodatasetsarenearlythesame,theproductisusuallypositiveandhencethecross
correlation is large. Two data sets might be dissimilar when lined upin one way, while be
similarwhenonesetisproperlyshiftedwithrespecttotheother;thusthecrosscorrelation
isafunctionoftherelativeshiftbetweenthesets.
6.4.2. Effectofnoisereductiononthedetectionoflightsquats
To study the effect of the averaging to noise reduction and, consequently, detection of
squats, a single measurement was compared to averages of three and six signals. In the
example below the vertical ABA responses at four small rail surface defects were
investigated. The defects are shown in Figure 6.5; one of them (T1L) was located at a
thermiteweld.Thesedefectsappearwithperiodicityofabout3m;hencetheyshouldhave
originated from a hard object indented into the wheel. The reason why these defects are
studied is that such defects may become a source of squats initiation. On the other hand
theyareverysmallandtheirdetectionismoredifficultthandetectionofmaturesquats.

T1L

Figure6.5Thedetectedrailsurfacedefects(trivialdefects).

Figure6.6showsscalogramsofABAmeasurementsaroundthesedefectswithindicationof
thelocationsofthedefects.Inthescalogramofthesinglemeasurement(Figure6.6(a))the
responsesatdefectsKandT1Lhasclearfrequencycharacteristicsbetween1000and2000
Hz.Theredareaatthefrequenciesbelow600Hzat8.8mcorrespondstothethermiteweld.
TheresponsesatdefectsJandLaredifficulttodistinguishfromthenoise.

85

Chapter6

In the scalogram of the average of three signals the responses at J and L become more
pronounced (Figure 6.6(b)). The frequencies characteristics at these defects are between
500and1500Hz.Althoughthereislessnoiseinthissignal,therearestillsomelocationsthat
canbetakenasadefect,like,forexample,atabout1.8and10.2m.
Inthescalogramofaverageofsixsignalsthecorrespondencebetweenthedefectsandthe
ABAresponsebecomeevident(seeFigure6.6(c)).
Noise

Noise

T1L

(a)Singlemeasurement
Noise

T1L

Noise

(b)Averagingofthreemeasurements

T1L

(c)Averagingofsixmeasurements
Figure6.6Scalogramsofasinglemeasurement(a),averageofthree(b)
andaverageofsixsignals(c).

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ImprovementoftheABAmeasuringsystem

The example below demonstrates the effect of using longitudinal ABA on the detection of
light squat. Figure 6.7 shows the average of six longitudinal signals. The frequencies
characteristicsatdefectsinthelongitudinalABAarebetween600and2000Hz.Thesignals
below 600 Hz are clean; no red areas can be observed; above 600 Hz the response is
stronger than the vertical one in Figure 6.6(c), as expected from the hammer test on the
wheel.

T1L

Figure6.7ScalogramsofsixlongitudinalABAsignals.

6.4.3. ReductionoftheinfluenceofwheelsdefectonABA
When the wheel on which accelerometers are mounted is damaged, it influences the
measuredABA.Thus,thebestmeasurementscanbeobtainedonlyafterreprofilingofthe
wheel.Nevertheless,ifthewheelisdamaged,thesignalscanstillbeusedaftersomeextra
signalprocessing.Figure6.8showsanexampleoffourverticalABAsignalsmeasuredonone
bogie. The signals measured from the leadingaxle have repetitive peaks (Figure 6.8(a, b)),
correspondingtoawheeldefect,whichappearataboutevery3meters.Itisnotclearfrom
thesedata,whetherbothwheelsofthewheelsetweredamaged,oronlyonewasdamaged
withtheexcitationbeingtransferredtotheotherwheelbytheaxle.Thesignalsmeasured
on the trailing axle were free of repetitive peaks (Figure 6.8(c, d)), because the vibrations
excitedontheleadingwheelsetarenottransmittedtothetrailingone.Thesesignalswere
measuredaroundinsulatedjointslocatedatabscissaequalto0m.Thepeaksexcitedatthe
insulated joints are difficult to distinguish from the peaks excited by the wheel defect,
especiallyinFigure6.8(b),wherethemagnitudeofthepeaksexcitedbythewheeldefectare
comparabletothemagnitudeofthepeakattheinsulatedjoints.

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Chapter6

(a) Rightleadingwheel

(b) Leftleadingwheel

(c)Righttrailingwheel

(d)Lefttrailingwheel

Figure6.8VerticalABAwithrepetitivepeaksexcitedbyawheeldefect.

Longitudinal ABA is less sensitive to the wheel damage. There are some repetitive peaks
related to the wheel damage on the left wheel in the signal (Figure 6.9(b)), but their
magnitudesaresmallerthantheonesintheverticalABA(Figure6.8(b)).

(a) Rightleadingwheel
Figure6.9LongitudinalABA.

(b) Leftleadingwheel

Figure6.10showsthescalogramsoftwoverticalsignalsmeasuredontheleadingaxlewith
the repetitive red areas corresponding to the wheel damage. However, the frequency
contentsatthelocationoftheimpactaredifferentfortheleftandrightwheels.Attheleft
wheelthefrequenciesareonlybelowabout400Hz,whileattherightwheeltherearetwo
red areas at each location: below 400 Hz and between 400 and 800 Hz. This observation
suggests that the damage was only on one wheel, and vibrations were transmitted to the
other wheel through the axle. The red area at the insulated joint is possible to be
distinguished from the red areas corresponding to the wheel defect, because the excited
frequencyrangeattheinsulatedjointisfrom200to2000Hzandhigher.Figure6.11shows
the scalograms of the corresponding longitudinal signals. The repetitive response at the
frequenciesbelow200Hzcorrespondingtothewheeldamageisweak.
88

ImprovementoftheABAmeasuringsystem

(a)Rightleadingwheel

(b)Leftleadingwheel
Figure6.10ScalogramofverticalABAwithrepetitivepeaksexcitedbyawheeldefect.

(a)Rightleadingwheel

(b)Leftleadingwheel
Figure6.11ScalogramoflongitudinalABA.

89

Chapter6

The problem of the repetitive peaks in the vertical ABA was solved by deduction of the
repetitivepatternfromthesignal.
6.5. HITRATEOFLIGHTSQUATS
The effectiveness of the prototype of the new measuring system with utilization of
longitudinalABAandapplicationofnoisereductiontechniqueswasassessedintermsofthe
hitrateofsmallrailsurfacedefects.
Based on the investigation of 13 small rail surface defects, similar to the ones shown in
Figure6.5,thehitratewas85%.Thisresultshowsthatevensuchsmallrailsurfacedefects
canbedetectedbytheprototype.Trackmonitoringshowedthatafteroneyearallofthese
defectswereerasedbywearofwheelrailrollingcontact.
Sincethisresultwasobtainedwithtrivialdefects,itisexpectedthathigherhitratecouldbe
achievedforlightsquats.Thus,byusinglongitudinalABAandapplyingthenoisereduction
techniques,thehitratewassignificantlyimprovedfrom57%reportedinchapter2.
6.6. CONCLUSIONS
In this chapter the improvements of ABA instrumentation and signal processing were
presented.Theimprovedinstrumentationincludedcombinationofverticalandlongitudinal
ABA.Byusingtheimprovedinstrumentation,thehitrateofmoderatesquatsimprovedfrom
60%to100%.
Toincreasethehitrateoflightsquats,theimprovementofsignalprocessingwasnecessary.
Inchapter2itwasreportedfrompilotABAmeasurementsthatthehitrateoflightsquats
was57%.Inthischapter,byutilizationoflongitudinalABAandapplicationofnoisereduction
techniquesthehitrateofsmallrailsurfacedefectswasincreasedupto85%.
Since this investigation included trivial defects, that are smaller than light squats, it is
expectedthathigherhitratecouldbeachievedforlightsquats.Theseimprovementsenable
detection of squats at their earliest stage, when corrective maintenance actions can be
taken.Utilizationofthisnewmeasuringsystemandtimelygrindingcanreduceanumberof
squatsby85%orhigher.
The results presented in this chapter were obtained by manual data processing. The
automaticdetectionofsquatsisdiscussedinthenextchapter.

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Automaticdetectionofsquats

7. AUTOMATICDETECTIONOFSQUATS
7.1. INTRODUCTION
In the previous chapter a prototype of ABA measuring system with improved
instrumentationandsignalprocessingwasdeveloped.Forperformingtheinspectionofthe
railway track such a measuring system needs to be supplemented with an algorithm for
automaticdetection.
The algorithm for automatic detection of squats should make use of signature tunes of
squats, identified from numerical simulations in chapter 4. In this chapter the signature
tunes of squats are validated by field measurements. Since the signature tunes of squats
mayoverlapwithsignaturetunesofothershorttrackirregularities,suchasinsulatedjoints
andwelds,thefrequencycontentsofABAatinsulatedjointsandweldsarealsoinvestigated.
Then,anautomaticdetectionalgorithmisproposedandevaluated.
7.2. VALIDATIONOFSIGNATURETUNESOFSQUATS
7.2.1. Smallrailsurfacedefects
Inchapter4ithasbeenconcludedthatlightsquatsarerelatedtoABAfrequenciesbetween
1000and2000Hz.PSDat300Hzislowatlightsquats,andincreaseswiththeincreaseof
lengthofsquats.
Figure7.1showsWPSoffoursmallrailsurfacedefects.Smallrailsurfacedefectsortrivial
defects are defects which are smaller than the critical size of squats. Such defects will
disappearbecauseofwear.Thefrequenciesexcitedattrivialdefectswerebetween600and
2000 Hz. This confirms that frequencies up to 2000 Hz can be excited in ABA. The trivial
defects,correspondingtoWPSinFigure7.1areshowninFigure7.2.Theirsizesarelessthan
8mmandallofthemdisappearedduetowear.

91

Chapter7

Figure7.1WPSatsmallrailsurfacedefects.

Figure7.2Trivialrailsurfacedefects.

7.2.2. Lightsquats
Frequencyresponseupto2.5kHzwasobservedinbothvertical(Figure7.3)andlongitudinal
(Figure7.4)ABAatlightsquats.ThephotosofthesquatsareshowninFigure7.5.Thereare
twomajorfrequencyresponses:belowabout800Hzandfrom800Hzto2500Hz.Thehigh
frequencyresponseabove800HzisstrongerinthelongitudinalABA.
Notice,thatfortheverticalABA(Figure7.3)theresponsebelow800Hz,withthemaximum
WPS about 300 Hz, is more pronounced than the high frequency part (between 1000 and
2500 Hz), although from numerical simulations it was expected other way around (Figure
4.9). This may be because the track parameters in that location were different from the
nominalparametersusedinnumericalsimulations,becausethetrackhasalreadydegraded.

92

Automaticdetectionofsquats

Figure7.3WPSofverticalABAatsquats

Figure7.4WPSoflongitudinalABAatsquats

Figure7.5Lightsquats

7.2.3. Moderateandseveresquats
Figure7.6showsexamplesofwaveletpowerspectrumatsomemoderateandseveresquats.
TheWPSatthesesquatshastwoareaswithstrongresponse,oneisbelow600Hz,withthe
maximumaround250350Hz;andanotherbetween600and2000Hz,withthemaximum
around10001300Hz.

93

Chapter7

(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure7.6WPSatsquats.

ThephotosofthesquatswhoseresponsesarepresentedinFigure7.6areshowninFigure
7.7. The lengths of the squats are 30mm, 40mm and 50mm in plots (a),(b) and (c)
respectively. With the increase of length of the squat, the WPS response below 600 Hz
becomestronger,whiletheresponsebetween6002000Hzbecomerelativelyweak,the
maximum frequency becomes lower (Figure 7.6). This is in agreement with the results of
numerical simulations presented in chapter 4. The frequencies identified from
measurements are broader than the ones identified from the numerical simulations,
becauseinrealitythetrackparameterscanvaryalongthetrack,whilethesimulationswere
performedononesetofnominalparameters.

(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure7.7Photosofsquats.

Thevibrationscausedbysquatscanalsobetransmittedthroughtheaxleandmeasuredon
theoppositeendoftheaxle(seeFigure7.8).Theresponsemeasuredontheoppositeendis
weakerandthefrequenciesarelowercomparingtoresponsemeasuredontheownend.
This should be taken into account when implementing in the automatic detection: the
responsesontwoaxleboxeshavetobecomparedtomakeaconclusionaboutthecorrect
railofthesquat.

94

Automaticdetectionofsquats

Figure7.8WPSontheoppositeaxle.

7.3. SIGNATURETUNESOFOTHERSHORTTRACKIRREGULARITIES
7.3.1. Insulatedjoints
Althoughthisworkisfocusedondetectionoflightsquats,ABAatothertrackirregularities,
such as insulated joints and welds has to be investigated, because it is necessary to
distinguish squats from other irregularities that may produce similar ABA responses. The
frequency contents at insulated joints and welds are briefly studied in this section only by
ABAmeasurements;thereforetheycanbelessaccurateandcompletethanthefrequency
contentsatsquatsstudiedbynumericalsimulations.
Insulated joints are the largest track irregularities and produce the strongest response,
exceptatfrogsofswitchesandcrossings,andtherefore,canbeeasilydetected.Theycanbe
usedasreferencepointsinABAmeasurementstocrosscheckthepositioningofthesignals.
Figure 7.9 shows the wavelet power spectrum at insulated joints. Insulated joints excite a
wide range of vibrations, with maximum power between 500 and 800 Hz for different
insulatedjoints,seeFigure7.10.

95

Chapter7

Figure7.9WPSatinsulatedjoints.Thescaleofthecolourbaris50m2/s4.

MaximumWPS,m2/s4

350
300

IJ1
IJ2

250

IJ3

200

IJ4

150

IJ5
IJ6

100

IJ7

50

IJ8

0
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

Frequency,Hz

Figure7.10MaximumWPSatinsulatedjointsIJ1IJ8.

7.3.2. Thermitewelds
Itwasfoundfromnumericalsimulationsthatthefrequenciesrelatedtoweldsare5060Hz
and 200 250 Hz [62]. Figure 7.11 shows WPS at welds. The characteristic frequencies of
ABAatweldsarebelow800Hz.ThemaximumWPSwasobservedbetween100and250Hz.
There are also frequency characteristics around 50 Hz at some welds. These results agree
withthenumericalsimulationsofwelds.
Welds can be distinguished from squats in ABA signals, because ABA at squats always
containsthefrequencycharacteristicsaroundandabove1000Hz,seeFigure7.6.

96

Automaticdetectionofsquats

Figure7.11WPSatwelds.

7.4. AUTOMATICDETECTION
7.4.1. Scaleaveragedwaveletpower
Squats canbe efficiently detectedby localized variations of waveletpower spectrum, as it
has been demonstrated above. Such variation of power spectrum can be applied to
automatic detection of squats. Automatic detection of track defects can be performed by
usingscaleaveragedwaveletpower(SAWP).
SAWPisdefinedastheweightedsumofthewaveletpowerspectrumoverscalessj1tosj2
[74],[75]:
2
n

j t
C

j2

j j1

Wn ( s j )
sj

(7.1)

where Wn ( s ) is wavelet power spectrum,n is the time index, j is a scale step, t is the
2

time step, C is an empirically derived constant for each wavelet function. SAWP can be
appliedtoexaminefluctuationsinpoweroverarangeofscales.
To detect squats, SAWP can be calculated in a certain frequency band, such as the one
relatedtosquats.SinceSAWPisatimeseries,squatscanbeidentifiedbyfindingthelocal
maximaofSAWP,whichexceedacertainthreshold.Byintroducingdifferentthresholds of
SAWP one can categorize the defects by their severity. These thresholds are dependent,
however,onthetrackpropertiesandtrackcondition.

97

Chapter7

7.4.2. Evaluationofprediction

Toevaluatethepredictionofsquatshitrateandfalsealarmratearecalculated.Inorderto
calculatethesetwoestimatorsanumberofhits,misses,falsealarms,totalnumberofsquats
and number of predictions are used, as demonstrated in Figure 7.12 and
Table7.1.

Figure7.12Demonstrationofhitrateandfalsealarm.

Table7.1Assessmentofprediction

Observed

Notobserved

Predicted

Hit

Falsealarm

Notpredicted

Miss

Correctrejection

Hitrateisdefinedastheratioofthenumberofcorrectpredictionandthetotalnumberof
defects,whichisthesumofhitsandmisses(bluecircleinFigure7.12):

HR

H M

(7.2)

Falsealarmrateisdefinedastheratioofthenumberoffalsealarmsandthetotalnumberof
predicteddefects,whichisthesumofhitsandfalsealarms(yellowcircleinFigure7.12):
FA

FH

(7.3)

For more accurate prediction the hit rate should be maximized and the false alarm rate
shouldbeminimized.
7.4.3. Detectionprocedure
Thealgorithmfordetectionofsquatsshouldincludepreprocessingofthemeasureddatato
improve signaltonoise ratio, prediction of squats and assessment of their severity.
98

Automaticdetectionofsquats

Flowchart of the detection algorithm is shown in Figure 7.13. The main steps of this
algorithmareasfollows.
FirsttheABAmeasurementsareobtainedfromthemeasuringtrain.Thenthepreprocessing
ofthemeasureddataisperformed.Thepreprocessingincludesthefollowing:

Lowpass filtering of ABA signals. The cutoff frequency was chosen so that the
responsesatsquatsarefullyincluded.

ReductionoftheinfluenceofwheeldamageontheABAsignals,ifthewheelisnot
inagoodcondition.

AlignmentofthesignalsbyestimatingthetimedelaybetweentherepetitiveABA
signalsasdescribeinsection6.4.1andshiftingthedelayedsignals.

NoisereductionbymeansofcoherentaveragingoftherepetitiveABAsignals.

ThenthepredictionofthesquatsisperformedbycalculatingSAWPinthefrequencyband
relatedtosquats,whichmayvaryfordifferentstagesofsquats.Thelocationsofthesquats
arepredictedbyvaluesofSAWPexceedingacertainthreshold.
Afterthatseverityassessmentofdetectedsquatscanbeperformed.Theassessmentcanbe
qualitative based on the excited frequency content or, quantitative based on the relation
obtainedinchapter5:therelationbetweenthepowerspectrumofABAat300Hzandthe
areaofthesquat.

99

Chapter7

Figure7.13Detectionprocedure

100

Automaticdetectionofsquats

7.4.4. Prediction
This section is focused on the Prediction step of the detection algorithm proposed above.
The SAWP was calculated from formula (7.1). The thresholds for the detection can be
determinedstatistically.
Detectionoflightsquats

7.4.4.1

Thenumberoflightsquatsavailablefrommonitoringofthetrackwasnotsufficientforthis
investigation.Therefore,trivialdefects(Figure7.2),whicharesmallerthansquats,werealso
investigated. Such defects have the frequency characteristics similar to light squats, see
Figure 7.1 and Figure 7.4. If such defects can be detected, larger defects can also be
detected.
Toincludeonlythefrequenciesthatarerelatedtosquats,thewaveletpowerspectrumwas
multipliedbyaweightfunctionateachmomentoftime.Theweightfunctionforlightsquats
wasequaltoonebetween200400Hzandbetween10002000Hzandzeroelsewhere
(seeFigure7.14).ThenSAWPwascalculatedoverallscales.
1.5
1
0.5
0
0

200

400

600

800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400


Frequency,Hz

Figure7.14Weightfunctionforlightsquats

Six track sections of 15 25 m long were investigated, containing 51 defects in total. The
SAWPofoneofthetracksectionsandthedetectedlocationsfordefectsareshowninFigure
7.15.Redasterisksatordinatezeroindicatetherealdefectsinthetrack,redstarsatpeaks
indicate their predicted locations. The threshold for detecting trivial defects was of 0.5
m2/s4; it was chosen so to maximize the number of hits and minimize the number false
alarms.
Table 7.2 shows the hit rate of the total number of defects, number of correct and false
predictions.Basedonthe51defectsthehitrateis78%andthefalsealarmrateis15%.Most
of these defects wereerased by wear after one year; hence theyare too small tobe light
squats.Sincelightsquatsarelargerthanthesedefects,theyareeasiertodetect.Hence,the
hitrateoflightsquatswillbehigher.
101

Chapter7

Inthefuture,byinvestigatingmoredefects,themostefficientthresholdcanbedetermined
statistically. Such threshold should separate light squats that will grow from trivial defects
thatwilldisappearduetowear.
Hit

Miss

Hit

Hit

Hit

Hit

Figure7.15SAWPattrivialdefects.Thelocationsofrealdefectsareshownwithredasterisksatordinate
zero;thepredicteddefectsareshownwithredstarsatSAWPpeaks.

Table7.2Hitrateoftrivialdefects
Location

Number
ofdefects

Numberof
predictions

Numberof
detecteddefect

Numberof
falsealarms

Hitrate

Falsealarm
rate

1
2
3
4
5
6

12
10
9
8
6
6

9
12
5
10
5
6

8
10
4
7
5
6

1
2
1
3
0
0

67%
100%
44%
88%
83%
100%

11%
17%
20%
30%
0%
0%

Total

51

47

40

78%

15%

Severesquats

7.4.4.2

FromnumericalsimulationsandABAmeasurementsitwasfoundthatthemostpronounced
frequencyatseveresquatsisbetween250Hzand350Hz.Toincludethefrequenciesrelated
to severe squats, SAWP was calculated within the frequency bounds from 200 to 400 Hz
(Figure7.16).
1.5
1
0.5
0
0

200

400

600

800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400


Frequency,Hz

Figure7.16Weightfunctionforseveresquats

Theanalysedsectionoftrackwas400mwith5severesquatsontherightrailand1severe
squat on the leftrail, indicated with red circles in Figure7.17 (a) and (b)respectively. The
102

Automaticdetectionofsquats

thresholdfordetectionofseveresquatswaschosenat0.5m2/s4,tomaximizethehitrate.
Notice that although the threshold for severe squats is accidentally the same as for trivial
defects, SAWP for detection of light squats and SAWP for detection of severe squats
included different frequencies. The high frequency part (between 1000 and 2000 Hz),
includedinSAWPoflightsquatsismorepronouncedthanthemidfrequencypart(200400
Hz) at light squats, see Figure 4.9. The midfrequency part, included in SAWP of severe
squatspartismorepronouncedatseveresquat,whilethehighfrequencypartisweak.
Withsuchthresholdthehitrateofsquatswas100%.Someofthesquatsweredetectedin
thesignalsfrombothrightandleftrail,asexpected.
Anumberofartificialdefectswerealsolocatedonthistracksection.Oneofthesedefects
wassimulatedinchapter3.Theartificialdefectsaredenotedbyblueasterisksaround
63.15 km in Figure 7.17(a) and 63.25 km in Figure 7.17(b). Since the artificial defects are
similartosquatsbytheirfrequencycharacteristics,theywerealsodetectedfromthesignals
ofboththerightandtheleftrails.Onlyoneartificialdefectwasmissing.Thereasonisthat
this defect and its frequency characteristics are more similar to light squats. This artificial
defectwasdetectedbythealgorithmforlightsquatsdiscussedabove,seeFigure7.18.

(a)Rightrail

(b)Leftrail
Figure7.17Detectionofseveresquats.Redcirclesindicateseveresquats;yellowcirclesindicatesevere
squatsontheoppositerail;cyanasterisksindicateartificialdefects,greenasterisksinsulatedjoints,red
starsindicatepredictions.

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Chapter7

The other predicted irregularities were insulated joints (green asterisks in Figure 7.17 (a)
(b)). They were detected, because they produce very strong response in ABA signal, with
frequencycharacteristicswhichcanbepartlyoverlappingwiththefrequencycharacteristics
of squats. The way to separate them from severe squats is based on their frequency
characteristicsdiscussedinsection7.3.1.
Therewasnofalsealarminthisexample.

Figure7.18Detectionofthesmallestartificialdefect.Cyanasteriskindicatestheartificialdefect,redstar
indicatestheprediction.

7.5. CONCLUSIONS
The signature tunes identified from numerical simulations were validated by field
measurements.Thesesignaturetuneswereemployedinautomaticdetectionalgorithmfor
squats.Thedetectionalgorithmwasbasedonscaleaveragedwaveletpower.Theaveraging
of the wavelet spectrum was performed at frequency bands related to squats. Such
frequencybandsaredifferentforlightandseveresquats:200400Hzand10002000Hz
forlightsquatsandonly200400Hzforseveresquats.
ThethresholdsfordetectionofsquatsonDutchtrackwereobtainedempirically.Thehitrate
by automatic detection for a combination of trivial defects and light squats, with trivial
defects being the majority, was 78%, with a false alarm rate of 15%. These results can be
furtherimprovedbyseparatingandignoringthetrivialdefects,whichwilldisappeardueto
wear,fromlightsquatswhichwillgrow.Thiscanbedonebytuningthethreshold.Thehit
rateforseveresquatswas100%withzerofalsealarms.
Insulated joints are also detected, although their frequency characteristics partly overlay
withthefrequencycharacteristicsofsquats.Thisisdonebysignalprocessing.

104

Conclusionsandrecommendations

8. CONCLUSIONSANDRECOMMENDATIONS
8.1. CONCLUSIONS
Thisthesisdiscussedtheproblemofdetectionofsquatsatanearlystage.Afterstudyingthe
available methods for track inspection, it was concluded that ABA is the most appropriate
methodformeasuringwheelrailinteractionatsquats.
FromliteraturestudysomedrawbacksofABAmethodwereindicated:speeddependency,
influence of the wheel state, and influence of track parameters on ABA. Trial ABA
measurementsrevealedsomeadditionalproblemsfordetectionoflightsquats:

LocalfrequencycharacteristicsofABAhavetobestudied;

SignaltonoiseratioofABAatsquatshastobeincreased.

Theseproblemswereaddressedinthisthesis.
8.1.1. Frequencycharacteristicsofsquats
In order to determine the relationship between squats and ABA characteristics, which are
neededfordetection,theFEmethodwasappliedtonumericalsimulationsofABAatsquats.
AthreedimensionalFEmodelwasbuiltandvalidatedagainstmeasurementsbysimulations
ofABAatanartificialdefectwithuniformlateralgeometryandataseveresquat.
BasedonthevalidatedFEmodel,simulationwasperformedforsquatsrangingfrom10mm
to70mmlong;quantitativerelationbetweensquatsandABAwasestablished.Itwasfound
thatthefrequencycharacteristicofABAatsquats(signaturetunes)areabout250350Hz,
1060 1160 Hz and high frequency response of very short duration up to 2000 Hz and
sometimesupto2500Hzatthemomentofimpact.Thefirsttwofrequencycharacteristics
arerelatedtonaturalfrequenciesofthetrack,thelastoneisforcedvibrations.
Thesignaturetuneswerevalidatedandextendedbyfieldmeasurements.Becauseofvaried
trackparametersandtrackcondition,thefirstsignaturetunewasextendedto200400Hz
for the Dutch railway tracks. The frequencies between 1000 Hz and 2000 Hz can be
considered as the second signature tune, including one natural frequency and forced
vibrations.
8.1.2. Assessmentofseverityofsquats
Possible methods for assessment of severity of squats were also discussed. Severity of
squats can be assessed by frequency content of ABA. For light squats PSD of the first
105

Chapter8

signaturetuneislowerthanPSDofthesecondsignaturetune.Forseveresquatsitisother
wayaround.
SeverityofsquatscanalsobeassessedquantitativelybythePSDofthefirstsignaturetune.
Theareaenclosedbytheverticallongitudinalprofileofasquatwassuggestedasameasure
ofseverityofsquats.Usingregressionanalysisithasbeenfoundthattherelationbetween
theareaofthesquatandPSDofthefirstsignaturetuneisapowerfunction.
Anotherrelation,obtainedbyregressionanalysisisthatthemaximumABAmagnitudeisa
quadratic function of the length and depth of a squat. These relations, obtained by
numericalmethods,havebeenvalidatedbyfieldmeasurements.
8.1.3. Speeddependency
To eliminate the influence of the train speed, measurements were performed at nearly
constant speed. If this is not possible, a mapping between ABA measurements and speed
canbemade.TherelationbetweentrainspeedandABAwasinvestigatedforoneshorttrack
defect.Thefrequenciesrelatedtosquatswerenotaffectedbythetrainspeed,buttheirPSD
was. This relation between ABA magnitude and train speed was a polynomial of third
degree, but it can be considered as linear between 60 to 140 km/h. The relation between
thetrainspeedandABAshouldbefurtherinvestigatedbysimulationsofdefectsofdifferent
severity.
8.1.4. Wheelstate
Wheel state has an influence on measured ABA. When the wheel is damaged, the
assessment of rail irregularities is affected by vibrations originated from the wheel. This
problemwassolvedbysignalprocessingofthemeasureddata.Sincethevibrationsexcited
byawheeldefecthaveacertainperiodicity,itwaspossibletosubtractthesevibrationsfrom
ABA signals. It was also possible to distinguish these vibrations by their frequency
characteristics.
8.1.5. Trackparameters
Vibration analysis of the track revealed that some of the signature tunes of squats are
relatedtonaturalfrequenciesofthetrack:sleeperantiresonances(300Hz),railresonance
(1000Hz)andpinpinresonance(1160Hz).Sincesomeofthesignaturetunesofsquatsare
thenaturalfrequenciesofthetrack,theyaredependentontrackparameters.Thesleeper
antiresonancefrequencyisdependentonstiffnessoftherailpadsandballastandmassof
thesleeper.Therailresonanceisdependentonthestiffnessoftherailpadandmassofthe
rail.Thepinpinresonanceismainlydeterminedbytherail.

106

Conclusionsandrecommendations

Since the signature tunes of squats are dependent on track parameters, the detection
algorithmshouldbeadaptivetoavarietyoftrackstructures.Thenaturalfrequenciesofthe
trackcanbedetermined,forexample,byhammertest.
8.1.6. Improvementofsignaltonoiseratio

8.1.6.1

Instrumentation

From vibration analysis of the wheel it has been found that frequency response in the
longitudinaldirectionisstrongerthantheverticaloneinthefrequencyrangebetween820
Hz and 2200 Hz. Based on that, improvement of the measuring system by recording and
analysing both vertical and longitudinal ABA has been made. It was confirmed by ABA
measurements that the high frequency response at squats is stronger in longitudinal
directionthaninvertical.

8.1.6.2

Signalprocessing

SignaltonoiseratioofABAcanbeincreasedbycoherentaveragingofseveralABAsignals.
Tostrengthenthefrequencycharacteristicsrelatedtolightsquats,theaverageABAshould
includebothverticalandlongitudinalsignals.Employingtheseimprovements,thehitrateof
smallrailsurfacedefects(includingtrivialdefectsandlightsquats)hasbeenincreasedfrom
57%to85%bymanualdetection.
8.1.7. Automaticdetectionofsquats
An automatic detection algorithmof squats has been presented. The algorithmwas based
onscaleaveragedwaveletpower.Theaveragingofthewaveletspectrumwasperformedat
frequencybandsrelatedtosignaturetunesofsquats.
Forlightsquatsthefrequencybandsare200400Hzand10002000Hz.Thethresholds
fordetectionofsquatsonDutchtrackswereobtainedempirically.Thehitrateofsmallrail
surfacedefects(trivialdefectsandlightsquats)bytheautomaticdetectionwas78%,witha
falsealarmrateof15%.
Thefrequencybandsfordetectionofseveresquatsare200400Hz.Thehitrateforsevere
squats was 100 %. To achieve this, insulted joints need to be identified. The frequency
characteristicsofinsulatedjointspartlyoverlaywiththoseofsquats.Insulatedjointscanbe
detectedbythehighestpowerspectrumbetween500and800Hz.

107

Chapter8

8.2. RECOMMENDATIONS
The detection algorithm proposed in this thesis can be further elaborated in the following
ways:

Thehitrateoflightsquatscanbefurtherimprovedbyseparatingthetrivialdefects
(whichwilldisappearduetowear)fromlightsquats(whichwillgrow).Thiscanbe
donebytuningthedetectionthreshold.

A relation between the wheelrail contact force and ABA can be investigated and
usedforassessmentofthedeteriorationrateofsquats.Basedonthat,adecision
whethertogrindcanbemade.

Application of artificial intelligence to analysis of ABA may help to extract more


signaturetunesofsquats,whichcanbeusedfurtherfordetection.

ABAmeasurementmethodcanbecombinedwithothermethods.Forexample,the
eddycurrenttestingtofurtherincreasethehitrateandobtainthemeasurements
of cracks length at squats. ABA method can also be combined with the image
recognitionmethod.Theimagesofarailsurfacecanbetakenbyacamerainstalled
onavehicle.Bythis,thehitrateofsquatscanbeimproved.

The detection algorithm discussed in this work can be applied to other tracks after some
adjustments,suchastuningthefrequencybandsrelatedtosquatsandthethresholds.
The same principles can be also applied for detection and assessment of corrugation,
assessment of the conditions of the welds of continuously welded track and of insulated
joints.
Employment of the presented measuring system with advanced data analysis will enable
detectionofsquatsattheirearlieststage,whenearlycorrectiveactionscanbetaken.Such
effective maintenance policy can significantly reduce life cycle costs of a track infected by
squats.

108

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115

CurriculumVitae

CurriculumVitae
Personalinformation:
Name:
Born:
Email:

MariaMolodova
NizhnyNovgorod,Russia
m.molodova@gmail.com

Experience:
Oct2012present

ProjectManager,OkazoLabLtd,Delft,theNetherlands

Feb2006Jun2012

PhDcandidate,RoadandRailwayEngineeringSection,Delft
UniversityofTechnology,theNetherlands
ThesisentitledDetectionofearlysquatsbyaxlebox
acceleration

Dec2004Jan2006

Economistatthedepartmentofstatistics,TheCentralBankof
theRussianFederation,Russia

Education:
Sep2003Jun2005

Sep1999Jun2003

Sep1999Jun2004

MasterofMechanics,LobachevskyStateUniversityofNizhny
Novgorod,Russia
ThesisentitledNumericalmodellingofelectrichydro
impulsivestampingprocess
BachelorofMechanics,LobachevskyStateUniversityofNizhny
Novgorod,Russia
ThesisentitledTheinfluenceoftheboundaryconditionson
thenaturalfrequenciesofacircularplatebytherefined
theory
MathematicalMethodsinEconomics,LobachevskyState
UniversityofNizhnyNovgorod,Russia
ThesisentitledInvestigationoflevelsofsalesbasedonthe
priceoncarmarket

116

CurriculumVitae

RelevantPublications
1. M. Molodova, Z. Li, and R. Dollevoet, Axle box acceleration: Measurement and
simulationfordetectionofshorttrackdefects,Wear271,no.12(May18,2011):349
356,10.1016/j.wear.2010.10.003.
2. Z.Li,R.Dollevoet,M.Molodova,andX.Zhao,SquatGrowthSomeObservationsand
theValidationofNumericalPredictions.Wear271,no.12(May18,2011):148157.
doi:10.1016/j.wear.2010.10.051.
3. Z.LiandM.Molodova, MethodandInstrumentationforDetectionof RailDefects,in
Par cularRailTopDefects.EuropeanPatent,WO2011019273(A1)20110217.
4. Z. Li, X. Zhao, C. Esveld, R. Dollevoet, and M. Molodova, An Investigation into the
Causes of squatsCorrelation Analysis and Numerical Modeling. Wear 265, no. 910
(October2008):13491355.doi:10.1016/j.wear.2008.02.037.
5. Z .Li, X. Zhao, R. Dollevoet, and M. Molodova, Differential Wear and Plastic
Deformation as Causes of Squat at Track Local Stiffness Change Combined with Other
Track Short Defects. Vehicle System Dynamics 46 (2008): 237246.
doi:10.1080/00423110801935855.
6. Z. Li, M. Molodova, X. Zhao, and R. Dollevoet, Squat treatment by way of minimum
action based on early detection to reduce lifecyclecosts, in Proceedings of the Joint
RailConferenceJRC2010,UrbanaChampaign,Illinois,USA,2729April2010.
7. Z. Li, M. Molodova, and R. Dollevoet, Detectability of isolated short wave rail surface
defects by way of axle box acceleration, in Proceedings of the 21st International
SymposiumonDynamicsofVehiclesonRoadsandTracks(IAVSD),Stockholm,Sweden,
1721August2009.
8. M.Molodova,Z.Li,andR.Dollevoet,Aninvestigationofthepossibilitytouseaxlebox
acceleration for condition monitoring of welds, in Proceedings of ISMA2008
International Conference on Noise and Vibration Engineering, Leuven, Belgium, 1517
September2008.
9. M. Molodova, Z. Li, and R. Dollevoet, Numerical simulation of dynamic responses at
squats,CROWInfradagen,Delft,theNetherlands,2526June2008.
10. M.Molodova,Z.Li,andR.Dollevoet,Numericalsimulationofaxleboxaccelerationofa
railway wheel rolling over a rail geometrical irregularity, in Proceedings of the 7th
InternationalConferenceonRailwayBogiesandRunningGears,Budapest,Hungary,36
September2007.

117