A new method for the improvement of the accuracy of the estimation of wheel-rail contact forces using instrumented wheelsets
In the present work, the accuracy of the measurement of wheel-rail contact forces through dynamometric wheelsets is analyzed. In previous works the minimal number of independent measurements needed for a consistent measurement was defined, highlighting the need of six independent measurement sections for estimating vertical and lateral forces. Anyway, cross-talk effects related to contact point position and longitudinal forces lead to a reduction in accuracy of the method, especially while negotiating narrow curves. By introducing an absolute angular reference system, it is possible to separate the different force components thus overcoming cross-talk effects. The effectiveness of the proposed method is tested both by means of quasi-static tests performed on a full-scale dedicated test-rig and by means of dynamic tests performed inline. Results obtained with an optimally and non-optimally instrumented wheelset are presented and compared.