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RAIL DYNAMICS LABORATORY
Compressing Time at the Rail Dynamics Laboratory
Simulating stresses from a long period of train operations in a very short time, making fatigue life predictions available in weeks instead of years. This one-of-a-kind test environment includes highly specialized, full-scale and component laboratories.
The Simuloader - SMU
The Simuloader is a computer controlled, electro-hydraulic structural test device for applying dynamic forces directly to a full-scale railcar body, highway vehicles and other heavy structures. It is used for full-scale multi-axial fatigue and durability testing of railcars, locomotives, transit buses, and truss sections. Using random parameter control, the SMU inputs motions directly into the vehicle’s carbody through the carbody bolster. The SMU uses up to 13 actuators with piston capacities varying up to 750 kilopounds (thousand pounds) and 12 inches of stroke. It is designed to simulate stress from a long period of train operations in a very short time, making fatigue life predictions available in weeks instead of years. The resulting fatigue analysis serves as an excellent source of design information, and safety evaluation for the designer.
The Vibration Test Unit - VTU
The VTU is a computer controlled, full-scale laboratory test device used by customers in evaluating suspension characteristics of rail vehicles, component and vehicle natural frequencies, ride comfort, and lading responses. The VTU is used in modal characterization to include rigid body roll, pitch, bounce, yaw, and flexible modes of railcars, locomotives, and lading as well as in ride quality evaluations. It uses 12 actuators with piston capacities varying up to 50 thousand pounds (kilopounds) and 6 inches of stroke. The VTU shakes a rail vehicle vertically and laterally through the wheels to simulate, through computer modeling, the track interface with the car over varied track geometry. Computer generated track profiles, or recordings of actual track profiles, are used to drive the actuators, which can be positioned to accept a variety of truck spacings or axle arrangements. The VTU has the capability of inducing vibrations in the frequency range of 0.2 to 30 Hz to the test car. The VTU can also be used to test nonrail vehicles such as buses and off-road construction equipment. The test device can be modified to accommodate a 4-axle rail vehicle up to 90 feet long and 160 tons, and up to a 66-inch wheel gage. The unit can also be modified to accommodate other truck configurations.
The squeeze test facility is designed to apply compressive forces at standard rail coupler height through the bodies of rail vehicles. The fixture is used to show compliance with compressive end load tests under AAR Standard Specifications for Freight Cars, M-1001, Chapter 11, Service Worthiness Tests and Analyses for New Freight Cars.
The squeeze test facility allows compressive load tests of passenger cars equipped with crash energy management (CEM) systems. Four longitudinal actuators have the ability to be operated in stroke control, meaning that all actuators stroke in unison. Actuators can also be operated in force control if a test requires it. Two actuators have 1,000,000-pound load capacity and two have 300,000-pound capacity. The total longitudinal load capacity is 2,600,000 pounds. Locations of the actuators can be adjusted to the particular needs of a test vehicle.
Eight load cells measure forces applied by the actuator and forces reacted by restraints at the passive end of the car. Measurement of all applied and reacted longitudinal loads allows determination of the load path through a test vehicle when multiple actuators are used.
The Rolling Load Test Machine
The Rolling Load Test Machine simulates the effects of rolling loads of wheels on the rail. Through computer control, the device is capable of producing wheel surface traction. The evaluation of wear and fatigue leading to plastic deformation is made possible through the use of the Rolling Load Test Machine. The tests can lead to a better understanding of how rail defects occur over time, with various contact stresses. The machine has also been instrumental in evaluating the performance of joints and insulated joints.
660 Machine (Bolster and Side-frame Testing)
The 660 machine consists of two 330,000 pound (150 MT) servo-hydraulic vertical actuators that are computer controlled and suspended vertically to a cross head on a reaction frame. Its primarily used to conduct fatigue certification tests on bolsters and side frames as per AAR Standards M-202 and M-203. Actuators can be configured to input loads for tri-axial tests on side frames.
PUEBLO, Co. --The Transportation Technology Center Inc.’s (TTCI) primary function is to conduct thorough research on products that can help railroads operate more safely, reliably and efficiently... read more
PUEBLO, Co. -- A new Master of Science (MSE) degree in Engineering with emphasis areas in mechatronics and railroad engineering will be offered by Colorado State University-Pueblo beginning next fall... read more
Pueblo, Colo. Led by Principal Engineer Duane Otter.... read more..
TTCI receives UIC's Global Rail Research and Innovation Award for highest score in the category of "Rail Freight."
(Paris, 11 December 2012). The inaugural UIC Innovation and Railway Research Awards were held in Paris on 11 December, during celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of the International Union of Railways (UIC).
Pueblo, Colo. Rep. Scott Tipton and Sen. Mark Udall are both lobbying congressional committees this month to guarantee that Pueblo's Transportation Technology Center, Inc., continues to get research funding in the 2013 federal budget...
Pueblo, Colo. TTCI was awarded the Export Achievement Certificate by the U.S. Commercial Service, Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration for being an international leader in railroad technology, security, and testing...