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Propagation characteristics of ultrasonic guided waves in tram rails

  • Sun, Kui (Engineering Research Center of Railway Environment Vibration and Noise, Ministry of Education, East China Jiao Tong University) ;
  • Chen, Hua-peng (Engineering Research Center of Railway Environment Vibration and Noise, Ministry of Education, East China Jiao Tong University) ;
  • Feng, Qingsong (Engineering Research Center of Railway Environment Vibration and Noise, Ministry of Education, East China Jiao Tong University) ;
  • Lei, Xiaoyan (Engineering Research Center of Railway Environment Vibration and Noise, Ministry of Education, East China Jiao Tong University)
  • Received : 2020.02.01
  • Accepted : 2020.04.18
  • Published : 2020.08.25

Abstract

Ultrasonic guided wave testing is a very promising non-destructive testing method for rails, which is of great significance for ensuring the safe operation of railways. On the basis of the semi-analytical finite element (SAFE) method, a analytical model of 59R2 grooved rail was proposed, which is commonly used in the ballastless track of modern tram. The dispersion curves of ultrasonic guided waves in free rail and supported rail were obtained. Sensitivity analysis was then undertaken to evaluate the effect of rail elastic modulus on the phase velocity and group velocity dispersion curves of ultrasonic guided waves. The optimal guided wave mode, optimal excitation point and excitation direction suitable for detecting rail integrity were identified by analyzing the frequency, number of modes, and mode shapes. A sinusoidal signal modulated by a Hanning window with a center frequency of 25 kHz was used as the excitation source, and the propagation characteristics of high-frequency ultrasonic guided waves in the rail were obtained. The results show that the rail pad has a relatively little influence on the dispersion curves of ultrasonic guided waves in the high frequency band, and has a relatively large influence on the dispersion curves of ultrasonic guided waves in the low frequency band below 4 kHz. The rail elastic modulus has significant influence on the phase velocity in the high frequency band, while the group velocity is greatly affected by the rail elastic modulus in the low frequency band.

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