Work plan

Objectives

  • Overall objective : To establish the influence of geometry changes across the welded region on the dynamic forces and the associated geometrical degradation of the weld region and track quality.
  • To review current welding practices, focussing on weld quality requirements (mechanical properties, hardness, strength, …), weld finishing, inspection techniques and equipment.
  • To acquire and undertake measurements of typical weld geometries, in the newly welded condition and after a period of service in track.
  • To define the desired geometry across the welded region to minimise dynamic forces through parametric assessments.
  • To contribute towards the choice of rail steel grades to be included in WRIST.
  • To undertake simulations to assess the consequences of material property differences with superimposed geometry differences on the rate of wear across the weld and the formation of “cupped” welds.
  • To assist in the review of metallurgical assessments of samples from rails welded using the proposed processes.

Objectives

  • Overall objective : Development of a high performance aluminothermic welding process with maximum productivity and joint quality.
  • Development of a technology for automation of the aluminothermic welding process, by including the capability of applying compressive forces and enhanced cooling of the weld prior to and during welding, for improvements of productivity and weld quality.
  • Development of a weld finishing technology for application within an automated welding process.
  • Development of reporting, data management and online quality control processes to facilitate weld acceptance.
  • Field testing of the new variant of the aluminothermic welding process (weld installation, monitoring of service performance, data management).

Objectives

  • Overall objective : Design and construction of an equipment, capable of generating the welds with a high degree of reproducibility, to pre-define, precisely control, reproduce and record the process cycle parameters and performance, in order to develop a reproducible and effective weld process that meets the operational needs of the rail industry.
  • Design and construction of control systems in order to automate and accurately control the weld cycle.
  • Design and construction of instrumentation to record process cycle parameters.
  • Execution of trials with the equipment to confirm and validate the systems integration.
  • Development of detailed specifications of the equipment similar to industrial application machinery, required to carry out the welding process.

Objectives

  • Creation of a verified numerical model of the new orbital friction welding process and the aluminothermic welding process, including models of energy input and equipment set-up.
  • Numerical simulation of the thermal, stress and strain fields present during orbital friction welding and aluminothermic welding, through finite-element calculations, with particular emphasis on cooling after welding and residual stresses and deformations, microstructure and hardness.
  • To provide a tool for optimisation of joint properties and weld quality for both welding processes.
  • To provide a useful tool for predicting the process parameters for welding rails made of different materials and with different dimensions.

Objectives

  • Determination of the clamping configuration between the intermediate component and machine tool.
  • Investigation of the influence of the intermediate component (geometry, dimensions, material, finishing profile, roughness) on the weld properties.
  • Determination of the optimal geometry, dimensions and material of the intermediate component, as a function of the rail material and geometry.

Objectives

  • Investigation of the influence of the process parameters on the joint quality, service performance and productivity, in order to derive optimised parameter windows for the industrial end-use machinery.
  • Determination of the optimum process parameters for each rail material, taking into account parameter sensitivity in order to optimise process reproducibility in an industrial operational environment.
  • Development of a detailed performance specification for the industrial application machinery required to carry out the welding processes.
  • Development of a detailed process specification for undertaking these welds to provide the basis for a European standard.

Objectives

  • Determination of the degree of metallurgical and geometrical discontinuity, achieved for the specific friction and aluminothermic welding procedures.
  • Prognostication of susceptibility of achieved weld qualities to running band defects related to irregular wear and rolling contact fatigue (RCF).
  • Implementation of the results in the form of feedback to the welding procedure, so as to minimise metallurgical and geometrical non-uniformity.
  • Determination of a framework for large-scale tests, to be executed on the DB roller rig, including the setup of test specifications and conditions.
  • Interpretation of the outcome of the roller rig tests with respect to running band degradation and potential failure mechanisms.

Objectives

  • Develop and facilitate efficient communication between beneficiaries and thus optimise indirect benefits of the project.
  • To ensure that the knowledge is effectively disseminated within the participant organisations.
  • To ensure that the knowledge is disseminated outside of the project, for example by means of demonstrations, conferences and publications.
  • Management of IPR.

Objectives

WP9 gathers the coordination activities, which are non-technical as described in the section “Management structure and procedures” :

  • Governance and strategic decision making.
  • Interface with the European Commission.
  • Financial and contractual administration.
  • Day-to-day management (Project Office).

Besides the non-technical Administrative and financial management, also a task has been foreseen for technical reporting.