Dimitrie Otlacan, Founder & Chief Engineer – INNOVA Systems and Technologies
Railway Buffers: measures to increase speed and safety through the use of intelliBuffer devices
On the occasion of its anniversary 150th reunion, the experts committee B12 of ORE UIC has performed an analysis of the stage of development of railways technologies, trends, and directions of development for the immediate future.
The issued reports indicate that a major obstacle in increasing trains speeds is represented by the level of transversal forces occurring in curves, caused by the tightening between buffers and the coupling apparatus. It is to be noted that the level of transversal forces would also affect the safety in operation, as well as the wearandtear of the rail itself and of the wheel bandage.
In this context, Prof. Eng. N.H.C.E. Zeevenhooven president of the ORE experts committee B36 promoted the necessity to develop socalled “intelligent” buffers for wagons, with two sets of characteristics enabled by the specific traffic situation the wagon is in: one characteristic F=f(d) that would ensure wagon and freight safety during shunting and train formation; another characteristic F=f(d), with a low level of force, that would ensure diminished levels of transversal forces when the train is in traffic and may run through curves. Reports issued on this occasion are published in document DT 230 (B12/B36) by ORE UIC. Innova Systems & Technologies has developed a system of intelligent buffers.
Their main characteristic is that, when the train passes through curves, the axial force occurring within the buffers is reduced to 50% of the axial force recorded by buffers with the same longitudinal deformation when the train is aligned straight. Moreover, the buffers are also able to protect against accidental collisions, up until an energy absorption level of 1000kJ / wagon end.
This study aims to present experimental results obtained through the first application of the intelliBuffer concept, developed by Innova Systems & Technologies for passenger coach wagons manufactured by Astra Vagoane Calatori. These buffers are fully compliant with both Regulation 1302/2014/CE and EN1551+A1 and our study covers the following aspects: increasing duration between two reprofiling of the wheels;
- decreasing the max. force required to pull the train;
- decreasing transversal forces at wheelrail level and increasing safety against
- derailment; decreasing wearandtear of the rails in curves;
- decreasing wearandtear of the buffer plates;
- decreasing wearandtear of several bogie components