Model Based Indirect Conicity Estimation Technique for Solid Axle Railway Wheelset
Conicity is an important characteristic that helps the railway vehicle to steer itself down the track. However during the operation, the conicity tends to change inconsistently due to frictional contact at the wheel-rail interface. Safety, reliability and ride comfort which are utmost importance for journey are adversely affected due to the changes in conicity level beyond certain limit. Several techniques have been employed for monitoring the health of the railway wheelset however still a significant potential exists to investigate the wheelset conicity. This paper presents a model based technique to monitor the wheelset condition which contributes to the wheel flats due to decrease in conicity level and the problem of false flanges due to increased level of conicity. In this paper an unconstrained solid axle railway wheelset is considered for study. The dynamic behavior of the wheelset is analyzed at different conicity levels to understand the effect of the conicity on the wheelset. In order to demonstrate the potential of this research work a simulation model is developed in Matlab/ Simulink to mimic the behavior of an actual wheelset. Simplified linearized model of the wheelset is used to estimate the dynamics of the wheelset. From the simulation results it is evident that the frequency of vibration is changing with the changes in conicity level. In this way using the proposed method the conicity level is indirectly identified. The results produced by simulation model are satisfactory.