Self-propelled Ultrasonic Rail Testing Car
Indian Railways has recently procured a self-propelled ultrasonic rail testing (SPURT) car of make MATRIX-VUR-404 from Sa Matrix Industries, Paris, at a total cost of approximately Rs 25 million, inclusive of ancillary equipment. The MATRIX car is capable of detecting, measuring, recording, and simultaneously analysing the internal defects of rails using a non-destructive method of rail flaw detection. The rail testing car has been designed for simultaneous examination of rails, points, and crossings at a maximum speed of 40 kmph. It consists of the following parts.
(a) An ultrasonic detection lorry
(b) An electronic unit including all circuit transmitters, receivers, selectors, and auxiliaries
(c) Two multi-track recorders installed at either end of the car
(d) A real-time automatic defect analyser
The various components of rail flaw detecting equipment are shown in the schematic diagram in Fig. 6.9. Testing is done using five probes at different angles, which are able to detect rail flaws.
The SPURT car can detect most rail defects that normally develop under traffic during service. The type of defect, its size, and its position in the rail section is automatically determined. The SPURT car is able to screen the rail section completely in the web and almost completely in the head and the zone of the foot below the web. The flange of the foot and the top corners of the head, however, are not screened. The defects recorded are automatically analysed. The results are given in a synthesized form in a prescribed manner.
It is expected that the SPURT car will be used intensively on Indian Railways and that it will be possible to control rail fractures/failures on Indian Railways to a considerable extent.