Following the successful acquisition of a grant in 2016 ‘Acti Wheel’ was actually Stage 2 of the overall wheel motor project and was to feature lateral position sensing and steering algorithms for heavy rail using low PYS bogies. One of the biggest issues facing the rail infrastructure is Rolling Contact Fatigue. This occurs due to the contact between the wheel and the rail. Conditions under the contact patch are always severe and the yield stress of the rail steel is always exceeded, on at least a microscale, due to the surface roughness of the wheel and the rail.
Actively positioning the wheels and therefore the contact patch at the optimum point of the rail, along with active torque control, will practically eliminate RCF. This is because ideal (close to radial) steering reduces the energy in the contact patch to a point where RCF does not occur and wear is very small.
The following media clip provides further information and shows our demonstration train in motion using a successfully implemented control system actively positioning its' wheels during its' journey: Click the media click for it to run
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