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Results published in January 2024

Report on the GEARBODIES Project Demonstrator


Description: This deliverable reports on advancements in rail carbody inspection technology, elastomer-based running gear components, and bearing innovations within the GEARBODIES project. To begin with, the Carbody Inspection Equipment demonstrator focuses on the validation of the Mobile Prototype Platform (MPP) and its equipment for the inspection of composite carbody shell, which uses image processing and pattern recognition. Integrating Ultrasonic Testing (UT) and Infrared Thermography (IRT) equipment was an adequate solution, with promising inspection times and potential for higher automation. Furthermore, the demonstrator dealing with Innovative Elastomer-based running gear components was centred on prototyping conical spring and swingarm bush, two elastomer-based components, by adding carbon nanotubes (CNT) and testing the new components. The deliverable displays the results on the stiffness and damping of both components after adding CNT, contributing valuable knowledge to the railway industry. The final demonstrator focuses on the concept validation for bearing innovations. Multi-body simulations (MBS) evaluated a reference vehicle with and without novel bearings, indicating no significant alteration in the running behaviour. The demonstrator also showed that the Twin-Tandem concept is theoretically promising but requires further R&D development.

Target audience: Rail Infrastructure Stakeholders

How it brings us closer to achieving better rail for Europe: The success of the European rail system in fostering the modal shift towards rail requires cost-efficient and reliable, long-lasting trains. The findings presented in this deliverable address the need to increase the lifetime and reduce the Life Cycle Cost of railway system components. Deliverable D8.5, and the GEARBODIES project more broadly, showcase both innovative running gear components and the use of lightweight materials. The project results are expected to positively impact the innovation capacity of the European rail system, through the production and transfer of innovative technologies and methodologies. Moreover, the results are intended to enhance European competitiveness versus key competitors in the rail supply market on a global level.

More information on this topic: GEARBODIES