A variable friction centre plate
Turning maneuvers performed by railway cars, imply the development of steering forces at the wheel-track interface, whose magnitude depends on a set of properties and operating conditions related to the vehicle and to the infrastructure, including track´s turning radius and vehicle´s yaw resistance. Yaw resistance integrates two components. On the one hand, there is the yaw stiffness, as a function of the different vehicle suspension components. On the other hand, there is the dry friction at the centre plate. Such yaw resistance of the car´s bogies, has a two-contradictory effect on railway performance, as a flexible bogie reduces the level of the steering forces, but at the same time, it increases the probability of having hunting instability. A variable yaw resistance, with high values at straight track segments and low values at curved tracks, seems to be an interesting design. In this paper, a variable friction center plate is proposed, aiming at maximizing the yaw resistance on straight track segments, and minimizing such resistance at curved tracks. The conceptual design of this device is described, together with its ability to reduce the yaw torque. Benefits of this device, regarding the transport energy consumption and the magnitude of the steering forces, are estimated on the order of 1 to 10, when comparing the proposed design with the standard center plate design.
Keywordscenter plate steering forces yaw resistance yaw stiffness railway damage transportation energy
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