Monitoring Train Braking System to Prevent Damage
By: CAS DataLoggers
An Alaskan railroad company had been experiencing problems stemming from vibration in the railroad car wheels and wanted to monitor their train braking system. They were aware that when too much heat developed during braking, the wheels could seize and subsequently develop flat spots. Flat spots (https://en.wikipedia.org/
They had several factors to consider. They would need a data logger capable of recording data over a minimum of 12 hours at five-second intervals. If the test were to be used on another route, they could very well require significantly more memory capacity than the approximately 8,400 readings required for this test.
Another factor was that a simple, dedicated temperature data logger would not be up to the task for monitoring a train braking system. A more robust, universal data logger capable of multiple inputs from various sensors would be needed to handle the different possibilities and conditions. The basic temperature measurement for this test would have to be accomplished using some sort of non-contact sensors. Also, the data would have to be easily accessible at the end of the trip for quick and easy analysis on a computer.
Finally, any solution would have to be capable of withstanding the Alaskan environment, the physical punishment of shocks, bumps, and vibrations of the rail route and the overall extreme conditions of the test.
The solution was to bundle multiple sensors including non-contact infrared sensors for multiple wheel temperatures, sensors for ambient temperature and other environmental conditions with the dataTaker DT80 Universal Intelligent Data Logger (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/
The DT80 can communicate via Ethernet, Serial or USB. In this application, a USB Flash Drive was used to immediately transfer the data at the end of the trip. Data was uploaded to a PC with the dEX software (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/
For more information on dataTaker Data Loggers (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/