Friday, June 26, 2015

Rail Wheel Factory/Yalahanka factory-test LHB Wheels at 160 Kmph speed

Yelahanka (YNK): The wheels of the high speed Indian trains like Shatabdi and Duronto expresses which are currently being imported from Europe are all set to sport the “Made in India“ tag. The Yelahanka based Rail Wheel Factory (RWF) is testing the indigenously manufactured wheels that can clock speeds up to 160 kmph. Currently, RWF is manufacturing wheels that are run at speeds of only up to 120 kmph.
The new wheel, called the LHB wheel, will be fit on the air-conditioned stainless steel coaches that are manufactured using the design by Linke Hofmann Busch (hence called LHB wheels).
Currently, the LHB wheels being used by the Indian Railways are imported. In April this year, when Indian Railways faced a shortage of LHB wheels, it asked RWF and the Lucknow based Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) to speed up the process of developing LHB wheels in India itself.
An RWF technical staff member said, “The newly developed LHB Wheels have a larger diameter.When the diameter is more the area covered and speed automatically increases.The outer ring of the wheel is also made thicker so as to be able to bare the load even when it reaches its maximum speed. These wheels cannot be used for non-LHB coaches.“
RWF had submitted its designs for the LHB wheels earlier this year. The designs were tested by RDSO on a software called the Finite Element Analysis Software. The measurement of the wheels are fed into the software and the capacity of thermal load, impact load, speed load are calculated and checked and RDSO then gave the go-ahead signal to RWF/Yelahanka to manufacture the first set of wheels. The first set of wheels are put on physical checks for three years.
Another technical staff member of RWF said, “The wheels have to be checked on various railway tracks across India. Sometimes the tracks are loose in some places; tracks may be wider is some areas, there are some specific turns where if the wheels are not aligned properly it could lead to major accidents. Then the sand density is checked in various areas. The sand density check is the second most important aspect to be considered in terms of rail wheels. This whole process takes three years. Once testing period is over and the wheels are used on regular basis they need to be changed after completion of one lakh kilometres.“
During the testing period the wheels are attached to empty trains. The development of the LHB wheels was taken up after the LHB coaches began to be manufactured in India.


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