To improve the assessment of the load situation of primary conical springs in rail vehicles, we have developed instrumented vehicle components - so-called 'smart components'. With specially developed sensor technology, it is now possible to convert commercially available conical springs into triaxial force transducers with integrated displacement and temperature measurement, so that these measured variables can be recorded directly during operation. The interfaces of the components remain unchanged, which means that the existing conical springs can simply be replaced by our smart components in existing vehicles.
In order to validate these sensors, last week we carried out measurement runs with a multiple unit train from CAF in cooperation with the operator EuskoTren and the company MTC in Spain, near Bilbao. The measurement data from the additional sensors will be used to check the plausibility and validate the 'smart components'. In the future, representative load spectra will be available for the service life calculation of elastomer springs. Furthermore, the results can be used to validate the MBS models and provide very precise information about dynamic stiffness values, e.g. during passing narrow curves. More details will be presented at IRSA in Aachen in November 2023.