The research field railway mechanics is part of the activities in the competence centre CHARMEC. The administration of CHARMEC is located at the Division of Dynamics.
CHARMEC's research focuses on the mechanical interaction of the train and track components. The current striving towards heavier, faster, more reliable, cheaper and more environmentally friendly railway transportation leads to increased demands on the railway system. Occurring phenomena are studied within the centre. Analytical, numerical and experimental tools are developed and applied. New materials, designs and controls are explored and effects of altered operational conditions are quantified.
The overall aim of the Competence Center is to enable a life-cycle optimization of track structures and rolling stock. Such an optimization should result in slower degradation of ballast and formation, increased life of sleepers and pads, improved track stability, reduced rail and wheel wear, less material fatigue, lower levels of vibration and noise, and better systems for the monitoring and operation of brakes, bearings, wheels etc.
The Centre works for a long-term build-up of knowledge that meets the needs of train manufacturers, infrastructure administrators and rolling stock operators. The goal is to achieve increased safety, reliability and quality in railway transportation and at the same time to lower production, maintenance, operational and environmental costs.
The research is organized into six programme areas:
1. Interaction of train and track (TS) aims at a better modelling and prediction of the dynamic interplay for different types of vehicles, tracks and operations
2. Vibration and noise (VB) investigates the mechanisms behind the generation and propagation of vibrations and the radiation of noise
3. Materials and maintenance (MU) concerns better materials in axles, wheels, brakes, rails, sleepers and formation, and predictive models and better practices to reduce wear and maintenance and increase the technical/economic life of the components
4. Systems for monitoring and operations (SD) strives at a rational and safe signal processing and better systems of sensors and actuators for braking and other train operations
5. Parallel EU projects (EU) refers to the involvement in, and support to, Chalmers' EU projects in railway mechanics (so far participation in ten EU projects and one Network of Excellence)
6. Special Projects (SP) contains short-term and specially targeted research and implementation projects
Under “Research projects” in the left menu the ongoing projects in Railway Mechanics at Division of Dynamics are listed first, and then also the CHARMEC projects carried out at other departments/divisions. Information on ongoing EU projects and Special Projects is available on CHARMEC's website.