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Propagation Characteristics of Ultrasonic Guided Waves in High-Speed Rails



With the rapid development of the high-speed railway, the continuous welded rail (CWR) has been widely used, and the ultrasonic guided waves become particularly suitable for the non-destructive testing of the rails due to their advantages. In this paper, a three-dimensional finite element modelling of rails is proposed on the basis of rail material and geometric properties. The first N-order natural frequencies of the rail are obtained by using the characteristic frequency method, and the phase velocity dispersion curves of the rail in the frequency range of 0-5000Hz are then provided. The narrow-band signal modulated by Hanning window is selected as the excitation signal source of ultrasonic guided waves, and the propagation characteristics of the low frequency ultrasonic guided wave in the rail are investigated. The results show that the energy is mainly concentrated in the rail flange, and less energy is distributed in the rail head and the rail web, which indicates that the defects in the rail flange could be relatively easily detected by using a low frequency guided wave.


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