The research area railway mechanics is the focus of the National Centre of Excellence CHARMEC. The administration of CHARMEC is located at the Division of Dynamics.
The research t CHARMEC focuses on the mechanical interaction between components of trains and track. The research provides new solutions to the industry that improve cost efficiency and robustness. In addition, the research provides operators and infrastructure managers with better tools to purchase, operate and maintain the railway system. This leads to a less expensive and more robust passenger and freight traffic.
The current development towards heavier, faster, safer, more cost efficient and environmental friendly, and more frequent transports increases the demands on the railway system. Resulting phenomena are studied within the centre. Analytical, numerical and experimental methods are developed and applied. New materials, designs and operational procedures are investigated and the consequences of altered operational conditions are being investigated. To carry out these studies, a range of methods and criteria have been developed within CHARMEC.
The main aim of the centre is to facilitate a life-cycle optimisation of the track structure and the running gear. Such an optimisation aims at minimising the degradation of balls and track support, increase life of sleepers and pads, improve track stability, reduce wear of wheels and rail, prevent material fatigue, reduce vibration and noise levels, and to develop better systems for operation and monitoring of brakes, bearings, wheels etc.
Consistent and focused research and the related increase in knowledge and competence will reduce the costs of the railway related to production, environment, operation and maintenance. At the same time safety, reliability and quality of transports are improved. This development is of a general public interest: Phenomena related o CHARMEC’s research relates to some 60% of maintenance costs of track and freight wagons. This gives an idea of the potential impact of the research at CHARMEC.
More information about CHARMEC can be found at www.chalmers.se/charmec
Head of Research Group
+46 31 772 34 80