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The automatic stand for immersion ndt of railway axles was manufactured and shipped to the consumer at the end of July.

Nowadays, the railway transport is one of the major means for transportation of goods and passengers. To assure the safety of cargo traffic it is crucial to use high-quality elements of the railway car wheelsets which are highly succumbed to a dynamic loading in-service. That is why the quality control during production of one of the wheelset elements, namely axles, is critical.

OKOndt Group of companies having a great expertise in manufacture of non-destructive testing means, both automated and manual, have constructed the automatic system of the non-destructive testing designed for ultrasonic immersion test of the railway axles – AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 (hereinafter – the System). The System performs testing to detect inner flaws and Ultrasonic permeability testing. It can be integrated in any technological production line of railway axles.

Figure 1 — The System AUTS Axle-4 OS-4. Appearance

Figure 1 — The System AUTS Axle-4 OS-4. Appearance

The System for axle test AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 provides for the axle testing in accordance with the following regulatory documentation:

  1. ISO 5948 – Railway rolling stock material – Ultrasonic acceptance testing.
  2. AAR M101 – Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices Wheels and Axles. Axles, Carbon steel, Heat-Thread.
  3. EN 13261 – Railway applications – Wheelsets and bogies – Axle – Product requirements.
Figure 2 — Positioning of the Railway Axle in the System

Figure 2 — Positioning of the Railway Axle in the System

Figure 3 — Probes Positioning Scheme

Figure 3 — Probes Positioning Scheme

Figure 4 — Scheme of the Axle Sounding

Figure 4 — Scheme of the Axle Sounding

Axle test system AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 assures the ultrasonic axle testing of various dimensions (by the length, diameter). AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 represents the immersion System for ultrasonic scanning of axles and has axle rotational mechanism. Use of the immersion testing method allows to test axles of various cross-sections and machining (semi-finished or finished railway axles) not affecting quality of the ultrasonic testing. The possibility to carry out railway axle ultrasonic inspection and rejection at early technological stages allows the manufacturer to cut expenses.

Figure 5 — The System AUTS Axle-4 OS-4. Immersion Testing

Figure 5 — The System AUTS Axle-4 OS-4. Immersion Testing

Non-destructive testing of railway axles is performed with simultaneous rotation of an axle and longitudinal movement of probes along the axle, i.e. by the spiral trajectory. Axle test system AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 encloses the following schemes of the ultrasonic inspection of an axle: to detect inner defects – from radial axle’s surface; to perform ultrasonic permeability test – from radial and buttend surfaces.

Figure 6 —Axle loading into the immersion bath of the AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 System

Figure 6 —Axle loading into the immersion bath of the AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 System

When the axle is loaded, the Control Program determines the conditions for starting the inspection and launches the process. Test results are displayed in a real-time mode that allows the Operator to preliminary evaluate the results. When the test is completed, the Software analyzes the data and forms the Conclusion on the Axle’s validity (data processing algorithm is performed in compliance with pre-selected regulatory documentation). Moreover, the software provides full record into the digital test log.

Test results are stored in the form of detailed information about detected defects:

  • Se and De of defects.
  • Defects’ spatial orientation.
  • Length.
  • Echo signals’ amplitude from the defects.

Technical Specifications Summary:

  • Railway axles testing in compliance with the international standards: ISO 5948, AAR M101, EN 13261.
  • Allowable diameter of the tested axles: up to 230 mm *.
  • Maximum length of the tested axle: 2600 mm *.
  • Test results display: А-scan, B-scan.
  • Full record of test results and test process logging.
  • Output: 10 axles/hour.
  • Based on the following testing methods:
    1. Da – sounding the axle in radial direction for inner defects presence and inner metal condition
    2. Т — sounding in axial direction to perform ultrasonic permeability test.

* - The System can be adjusted to other axle sizes upon the Customer’s request

Figure 7 — Displaying of test results

Figure 7 — Displaying of test results

AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 Main Advantages:

  • Ensures inspection of the rail axles of various cross-sections.
  • Railway axle inspection stand performs rail axle ultrasonic testing with primary machining (surface roughness up to 25 µm) that in turn allows to reject inadmissible axles and not to perform final machining on them (finishing).
  • Test results display in online mode.
  • Ultrasonic axle test system can be integrated in any production line for the railway axles.

Usability:

Axle test system AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 has been integrated into the production line of the axles at the PJSC Lugcentrokuz n. a. S. Monyatovsky (Luhansk, Ukraine). The enterprise used the System for semi-finished railway axles ultrasonic inspection that allowed to detect and reject low-quality products at early production stages.

Besides, the AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 was integrated at the INTERPIPE NTRP enterprise (Dnipro, Ukraine) in 2018. Application of the System for the ultrasonic axle UT testing allowed the company to ensure the high quality of its products and almost completely get rid of consumer complaints. INTERPIPE NTRP exports its products to the countries of Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa.

In 2022, the DDAP RAX LLC that is also one of the well-known railway axles manufacturer equipped its axles production line with the AUTS Axle-4 OS-4 System. This in turn enables the company to improve quality of the products along with its export potential.

We all, at OKOndt Group with our great scientific and production potentials as well as 30-year experience in solving various NDT tasks, are ready to continue satisfying the NDT-related enterprises’ needs in automated testing of the railway axles, wheels, wheel rims and other objects requiring control.