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PhD Studentship: Modelling of Rail Corrugation Growth in Curved Track

Institute of Sound & Vibration Research

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 12 January 2019
Reference:  1025018KR

Project Reference: ISVR-DYN-525

Railway corrugation is frequent wavy wear on the running surface of the rails that has its origin in a complex coupling between the wear in the wheel-rail interface and the vibratory dynamics of the track-vehicle system. This issue produces environmental problems (unacceptable increases of rolling noise and vibration), which forces railway managers to make large investments to correct or mitigate its effects. Although it is a problem that is known since the beginning of the railways, at present the mechanisms that cause it are still not well understood, so there are no decisive measures to control its growth. One of the most damaging types of corrugation (with growth rates up to 0.1 mm/month) is known as ‘rutting’, which appears in curves, usually on the inner rail of the curve, and produces intense noise (up to 100 dB inside the vehicles) in a low frequency range (typically below 500 Hz). 

In this project it is proposed to investigate rutting corrugation through numerical modelling. To do this, we will base it on practical cases provided by industrial collaborators. The fundamental objectives of this project are: (1) to develop a simulation model that allows the growth of the corrugation to be simulated through models of the coupled vibration of the railway vehicle-track system and the wheel-rail rolling contact mechanics; (2) to determine the mechanisms through which corrugation growth occurs; (3) to assess methodologies that allow the growth of corrugation to be controlled.

The successful candidate will have a good degree in mechanical engineering or a related subject, specialising in dynamics, with experience in modelling and programming.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact David Thompson, ISVR Dynamics research group, Email: djt@isvr.soton.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2510.

Funding and Eligibility

This 3 year studentship covers UK/EU tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £14,777 for 2018/19.

How to Apply

Click here to apply and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship in the application form.

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