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Wheel/ Rail Noise, Rolling noise

In Germany roughly 80 % of the population is annoyed by noise, whereby the traffic noise plays a most important role. Many people cannot live and sleep in an acceptable environment due to arising effects on their health. Most of the numerous successful solutions in noise control of the last thirty years, especially in the field of road noise are diminished by the increased mobility, higher transport, together with the extension in both infrastructure and traffic density. Therefore in future, the railway as an environmentally friendly and energy saving system, should play a more important role, especially in the field of freight transport. The Institute of Technical Acoustic in cooperation with several other institutions has been concerned with questions of noise from the wheel/ rail system since 25 years. The focus lies on the generation mechanisms with the aim to develop possibilities of noise control measures at the corresponding sources. The following items were investigated:

Theoretical, mostly analytical calculations regarding the structure-borne noise generation, the propagation, and radiation caused by the rolling of a wheel on a rail or by single elements.

Estimations about other mechanisms of the wheel/rail system, their importance and their relation to the pure tread-roughness induced rolling noise.

Development and verification of several noise control measures.

Development of a low noise wheel, based on only shape variations. Experimental model investigations regarding the vibration and radiation of both wheel and rail, inclusively the behaviour of soil- and tunnel- structures with respect to subway traffic, additionally the model test rig was used for the verification of theoretical approaches, and for a simultaneous measurements of the structure-borne sound at the contact area of the wheel and rail by application of a two-channel laser-vibrometer which was carried on with the rolling test rig.

Theoretical and experimental investigations of parameter excitation.

Measurements of single components of the railway systems by artificial and stationary excitation.

Field measurements on high-speed trains, city- and subway trains. Altogether there are roughly 45 papers from several authors, 20 research reports, and 8 dissertations.

In the futures the investigations should be extended to the following items:

Possibilities of the application of modern technical means of noise control, for instance ³Active Noise Control².

The significance of following physical effects: pseudo-roughness, impulse-excitation, friction in the contact patch, acoustical consequences of the application of light-constructions in railway systems.

The railway cannot be seen as an isolated technical system. Questions about the interactions between noise, traffic and city planning are also important at least in areas with a large population. There are also efforts to cooperate interdisciplinary in this field.

A connection of technical aspects with both psychological acoustic and noise effects on people, two fields which are also established at the Institute, gives another powerful potential of research cooperation, especially with respect to effects of railway noise on people.

Students can find many interesting subjects (study-, diploma-, projectworks), also suited for persons with a mechanics/ dynamics or physics background (i.e. Physical Engineering). Contact: Prof. Dr.-Ing. M. Möser or Dr.-Ing. J. Feldmann

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