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Review Article

Rail Flaw Detection Technologies for Safer, Reliable Transportation: A Review

[+] Author and Article Information
Sanath Alahakoon

Centre for Railway Engineering,
Central Queensland University,
Gladstone, Queensland 4680, Australia;
Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation,
Canberra ACT 2608, Australia
e-mail: s.alahakoon@cqu.edu.au

Yan Quan Sun

Centre for Railway Engineering,
Central Queensland University,
Rockhampton, Queensland 4702, Australia;
Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation,
Canberra ACT 2608, Australia
e-mail: y.q.sun@cqu.edu.au

Maksym Spiryagin

Centre for Railway Engineering,
Central Queensland University,
Rockhampton, Queensland 4702, Australia;
Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation,
Canberra ACT 2608, Australia
e-mail: m.spiryagin@cqu.edu.au

Colin Cole

Centre for Railway Engineering,
Central Queensland University,
Rockhampton, Queensland 4702, Australia;
Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation,
Canberra ACT 2608, Australia
e-mail: c.cole@cqu.edu.au

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Dynamic Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL. Manuscript received February 20, 2017; final manuscript received July 3, 2017; published online September 25, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Shankar Coimbatore Subramanian.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 140(2), 020801 (Sep 25, 2017) (17 pages) Paper No: DS-17-1110; doi: 10.1115/1.4037295 History: Received February 20, 2017; Revised July 03, 2017

This paper delivers an in-depth review of the state-of-the-art technologies relevant to rail flaw detection giving emphasis to their use in detection of rail flaw defects at practical inspection vehicle speeds. The review not only looks at the research being carried out but also investigates the commercial products available for rail flaw detection. It continues further to identify the methods suitable to be adopted in a moving vehicle rail flaw detection system. Even though rail flaw detection has been a well-researched area for decades, an in-depth review summarizing all available technologies together with an assessment of their capabilities has not been published in the recent past according to the knowledge of the authors. As such, it is believed that this review paper will be a good source of information for future researchers in this area.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Flaw detection , Rails , Waves
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Chen, J. , and Bond, L. J. , 2015, “ Assessment of Ultrasonic NDT Methods for High-Speed Rail Inspections,” AIP Conf. Proc., 1650(1), pp. 605–614.
Zhao, Y. , Sun, J. H. , Ma, J. , Liu, S. , Guo, R. , Song, J. F. , and Jia, Z. Q. , 2014, “ Application of the Hybrid Laser Ultrasonic Method in Rail Inspection,” Insight, 56(7), pp. 360–366. [CrossRef]
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Park, J. , Lim, J. , Cho, Y. , and Krishnaswamy, S. , 2015, “ Study on Laser-Based Ultrasonic Technique by the Use of Guided Wave Tomographic Imaging,” AIP Conf. Proc., 1650(1), pp. 274–279.
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Bayissa, W. L. , and Dhanasekar, M. , 2011, “ High-Speed Detection of Broken Rails, Rail Cracks and Surface Faults,” CRC for Rail Innovation, Brisbane, Australia, Project No. P4.116.
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Rail/wheel contact and the associated stress distribution [2]

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Fig. 5

Local immersion probe used for surface wave excitation [33]

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Fig. 4

Loading of rail steel sample during fatigue testing [19]

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Fig. 3

Top view of a PEC probe aligned in the direction of magnetic induction flux [12]

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Fig. 2

Schematic diagram of the IR inspection system for fatigue cracks

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Fig. 6

Definition of the field directions and coordinate system used in ACFM [35]

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Fig. 7

Primary and auxiliary inputs of the ANC filter [44]

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Fig. 11

Rail defect detection by ultrasonic guided waves excited by a laser and detected by an array of air-coupled sensors [83]

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Fig. 12

Hardware layout of the rail defect detection prototype [83]

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Fig. 13

Defect detection scheme in “transmission mode” with a pair of air-coupled sensors [83]

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Fig. 8

Side view of EMAT [48]

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Fig. 9

(a) Laser-based generation of Rayleigh waves and detection and (b) focusing mechanism of the generated laser into a line source [60]

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Fig. 15

Typical rail flaw detection process

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Fig. 16

Global classification of rail flaw detection methodologies

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Fig. 10

Measurement system based on laser interferometer scanning

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Fig. 14

Variation of inspection areas covered by eddy current and ultrasonic-based detection techniques [113]

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