Project Title: Innovative Technologies for Inspecting Carbodies and for Development of Running Gear
Duration: 24 months (01/12/2020 – 30/11/2022)
Description: The success of the European rail system to foster the modal shift towards rail requires cost-efficient and reliable longlasting trains made of new composite materials. GEARBODIES contributes to this effort by improving the efficiency of rolling stock maintenance in close collaboration with the ongoing Shift2Rail PIVOT2 project. To achieve the above, GEARBODIES aims to extend overhaul periods and improving maintenance processes of rail carbodies.
Objectives: GEARBODIES aims to extend the overhaul periods of rail vehicles by developing high-performance and long-lifetime components for running gears. Also, GEARBODIES will improve the maintenance processes of rail carbodies by developing innovative Non-Destructive Testing technologies to optimise inspection processes for composite lightweight carbody shells. Within this context the project will develop an innovative modular platform to reduce the inspection time of such rail carbodies. The platform will incorporate tailored thermography and ultrasonic inspection systems and will facilitate the automated detection and assessment of defects throughout the thickness of the shell by using a customed software module. GEARBODIES will design and prototype several elastomer-metal running gear components, suitable for serial production, based on high-performance new elastomer formulations and existing elastomers not yet applied in rolling stock elements. In addition, the project will also explore innovative technologies for the development of low LCC bearings.
GEARBODIES will benefit form a strong multidisciplinary consortium, made of 13 partners from 8 countries, committed to the mentioned actions towards maximisation of the project's impact.
HIT key role and responsibilities: HIT is participating as the leader of Workstream 1 that involves the development of NDT inspection methods for innovative rail carbody shells. HIT will apply infrared thermography (IRT) techniques for the detection of surface and subsurface defects on composite components of monolithic and hybrid nature based on the materials that new composite rail carbody shells will be made of. HIT will conduct desk research including modelling and simulation of IRT techniques (using ThermoCalc 3D to solve heat conduction problems) to select the most capable techniques for the task. These IRT techniques will be applied, at a second stage, in lab experiments on composite component samples. After the lab experimentation, HIT will contribute into the integration of the IRT equipment into the prototype autonomous mobile inspection platform that the project aims to deliver. Furthermore, HIT will develop advanced thermography data pre & post processing techniques for detection of defects/ damage on composite carbodies and will contribute to the development of pattern recognition software tools. HIT’s role also entails the development of image fusion techniques for thermography and ultrasonic data that will provide a visual representation of the inspected carbody. Finally, HIT will participate in the final testing and validation of the prototype inspection platform on an actual prototype composite rail carbody to be carried out at the end of the project.
Dr. Vassilis Kappatos
+30 2310 498 486