Full scale fatigue test performed to the bolster beam of a railway vehicle



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Springer-Verlag France


Many structural elements are exposed to conditions of load that are difficult to consider during the design stage, such as environment uncertainties, random impacts, overloads and inherent material idealization amongst others, hence, miss-estimating its life-time cycle. One way to test those designs is to construct a representative full-scale specimen and test it under the most critical load conditions in a controlled laboratory. Herein, we present a case of study of the fatigue test performed over a bolster beam redesigned in Universidad EAFIT belonging to a railway vehicle. The test was composed by three stages, each one testing a different load hypothesis. The bolster beam was instrumented at the most critical locations, following the results of a FEM analysis previously computed. As results, the most critical welds were identified and the total damage computed for an equivalent operation of eighteen-years, and also the behaviour of the specimen in presence of extreme longitudinal loads. © 2016, Springer-Verlag France.


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Crashworthiness, Fatigue testing, Load testing, Locomotives, Railroad rolling stock, Railroads, Transportation, Uncertainty analysis, Vehicles, Controlled laboratories, Critical location, Environment uncertainty, Full-scale fatigue test, Railway vehicles, Strain signal, Structural damages, Structural elements, Fatigue damage