How a single component from Trelleborg can lead to cost savings, reduced energy use and noise reduction
When it comes to increasing efficiencies and bringing about greater comfort on the railways, reducing vibration is a primary concern. However, due to the very nature of the rail environment, there are multiple sources of vibration which directly impact upon the performance of vehicles. One source, in particular, has challenged train builders for many years – until now.
Stemming from the need to balance low longitudinal stiffness for suitable cornering with greater rigidity for safe movement at higher speeds, conventional bearings necessitate a compromise between these two requirements. By the very nature of compromise, however, traditional bearing solutions are unable to provide the best results for these two target variables.
That’s where the innovative HALL bearing comes in. Capable of providing the flexibility required for low loading speeds as well as being comparatively stiff at higher loading speeds, HALL bearings enable a safe run on straight tracks while facilitating better handling in the corners. The result – lower levels of wear, reduced energy consumption and potential cost savings.
Let’s explore how these outcomes work in practice.
With HALL bearings able to adapt according to the rail conditions which lie immediately ahead, many advantages are realised: wheels suffer less abrasion; vehicles are subject to reduced levels of vibration; and rails themselves suffer less wear. All of these factors translate into tangible long-term benefits, including reduced maintenance during the lifetime of vehicles and their components, and significant cost savings across railway operations with infrastructure requiring less maintenance.
Improved contact between the wheels and rail as a result of the innovative HALL bearing also means less frictional resistance. In practice, this results in less traction being required, particularly around curves, subsequently leading to vehicles needing less energy.
The result of these factors is combined savings. Savings across rail networks and savings for rail operators. In the UK and Sweden for instance – following intensive studies into the relationships between vehicle properties and rail wear – savings made from reduced infrastructure maintenance are passed on to operators in the form of fee models for track access, rewarding flexible axle control with lower fees. And with vehicles fitted with HALL bearings ultimately requiring less energy because of reduced rail friction, significant cost savings can be made depending on the characteristics of a particular route.
About HALL bearings
Fitting the existing space for conventional axle guide bearings, the innovative component can be integrated into new and existing vehicles without the need for structural modifications. Independently adjusting wheels to best suit the course ahead, HALL bearings – with the aid of a control unit and hydraulic system – harness information from programmed maps or cameras to actively adjust vehicle set-up and enable smoother, more efficient performance.
To discover how HALL bearings could generate greater efficiencies for you, visit http://www.trelleborg.com/en/anti-vibration-solutions/products–and–solutions/rail–and–mass–transit–solutions/hall–bearing