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Locomotive Wheel Inspection With EMAT Technology

[+] Author Affiliations
B. R. Tittmann, S. Jayaraman

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Paper No. PVP2004-2833, pp. 171-176; 6 pages
  • ASME/JSME 2004 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Recent Advances in Nondestructive Evaluation Techniques for Material Science and Industries
  • San Diego, California, USA, July 25–29, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4679-2
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


There is a need to analyze locomotive wheels for flank cracks in a non-destructive manner in order to prevent catastrophic failures. Flaw, shape, and size are desired parameters in establishing the quality of commercial tires. A variety of defects such as voids, inclusions, surface and internal cracks, or the like, must be discerned in order to prevent failure. This paper exhibits and compares the benefits of a number of different techniques used for flaw detection. Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques used are magnetic particle inspection, dye penetrant, eddy current, electro-magnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT). The techniques vary in their ability to ascertain the flaw characteristics. Using a non-contact sensor such as the EMAT, to scan the wheels in an automated manner offers greater inspection speed at lower manpower. This paper reviews the basic concept of EMATs, introduces a recently developed technique for simulating EMAT performance by Finite Element calculation and features bench top results of waveform acquisition and signal-to-noise ratio dependence on lift-off. Next presented are calibration results for spark-eroded flaws in wheel sections for a variety of locations and sizes. Finally data are on flaw detection in a railroad service facility on several locomotives with wheels spinning at speeds up to 40 meters/minute. Results for both artificial and actual flaws are shown.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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