Quantifying the relationships between rail profile quality indices and inservice wheel-rail contact conditions
In order to maintain safe and efficient operations, railway systems periodically use large, special purpose, trackbound grinding machines to re-establish the desired profiles of rails, and to remove surface damage that has occurred under operating conditions. The accuracy of the grinding process is typically measured using quality indices to compare the resulting rail profile to its target shape. In this research project, the intern will develop quantitative methodologies (incorporating real-world grinding results and measurements, together with detailed modeling and simulation tools) to better understand the relationships between the quality indices that are calculated, and the actual wheel-rail contact conditions that they are intended to represent. This will provide the basis for economic modeling that helps the industrial partner (ARM) work together with its customer base to make informed decisions when establishing maintenance targets and planning maintenance programs.