Design of special measurement systems based on advanced mechatronics for the study of complex and key interfaces between the vehicle and infrastructure subsystems.

Our Instrumented Wheelset is a sensing system able to measure the contact forces associated with wheel-rail interaction. It is based on extensometric gauge instrumentation and allows contact forces to be obtained through the direct measurement of stresses experienced by the wheel, and uninfluenced by the wheel/rail contact point position.

Field applications for the Instrumented Wheelset include:

  • Homologation of new vehicles and technologies (EN14363, UIC518, US CFR49)
  • Advanced track measurement for optimised maintenance and enhanced safety
  • Testing for reliability improvement
  • Vehicle dynamics and Multibody Model validation
  • Research in wheel/rail contact-related issues

The system has the following technical characteristics:

  • Vertical, lateral and longitudinal real-time measurement
  • Measurement errors as low as 4%
  • Sampling rate up to 1kHz
  • Wheel/rail contact point position
  • Customised mounting solutions: adaptable to any wheel and axle configuration and geometries
  • Patented methodology: new, wheel-based solution minimising common errors such as signal drifts, thermal influence, turning effects and interferences
  • Adaptable communication solutions with the wheelset, including optical telemetry systems without batteries for drilled axles

Calibration and verification for the Instrumented Wheelset involve:

  • Calibration on a dedicated rolling rig
  • In-service, real conditions simulations: wheel/rail contact forces, contact position and angle of attack
  • Testing at up to 200kN forces and 2,000rpm turning speed
  • Specially designed test bench for Wheelset, ranging from 1,000mm to 1,668mm gauge