The Insulated Rail Joint Project

The Insulated Rail Joint Project
Seth Lambrecht and Heike Lohse-Busch
Advisor: Dr. Dillard and Dr. Plaut
The goal of this project is to design an improved insulated rail
joint to replace the existing joints. The service life of current
joints is approximately 10% of that of adjoining rail, our goal is to
design a joint that will have a service life five times longer than
the existing joint. To achieve this we intend to use an angled cut
instead of the current cut perpendicular to the rail. This
geometry will reduce the stresses in the adhesives as well as
vertical deflection and bending moments in the joint. The design
of this will require our extensive knowledge of solid mechanics
regarding static and dynamic wheel loading. In addition the
analysis and simulation will require programming in Mathematica
Executive Summary: Our project includes the static and
dynamic analysis of the joint.
• Statically, we will determine the optimal cut angle and rail tip
geometry through design of experiments using finite element
analysis models in ABAQUS.
• The results we be validated by comparison to analytical
beam on elastic foundation analysis using the Rayleigh-Ritz
method performed in Mathematica.
• Dynamically, we will optimize the cut angle analytically using
the Galerkin method with the beam on elastic foundation
• All results will be compared to the existing joint to determine
the most efficient cut angle and rail tip geometry.