Probabilistic Fatigue Life Prediction and Inspection of Railroad Wheels 2007-01-1658
A general methodology for fatigue reliability analysis and inspection of railroad wheels is proposed in this paper. Both fatigue crack initiation and crack propagation life are included in the proposed methodology using previously developed multiaxial fatigue models by the authors. The life prediction is validated with field data. A methodology for calculating the optimized inspection schedule of railroad wheels is then developed using the reliability methodology. The optimized inspection scheduling methodology combines clustering analysis, to identify critical samples, reliability analysis, to calculate the expected life of the critical samples, and reliability-based optimization into an overall methodology which optimizes the inspection schedule. The proposed methodology minimizes the number of wheels inspected while at the same time maintaining or exceeding the desired reliability of the population.