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Volume 7, issue 2 | Copyright
J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 7, 469-479, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular research article 10 Sep 2018

Regular research article | 10 Sep 2018

Measuring the wheel-rail forces of a roller coaster

Andreas Simonis and Christian Schindler Andreas Simonis and Christian Schindler
  • Institute for Rail Vehicles and Transport Systems, RWTH Aachen University, Seffenter Weg 8, 52074 Aachen, Germany

Abstract. During a roller coaster ride, the vehicles and their passengers are exposed to multiple times the acceleration of earth's gravity. The corresponding forces must be transmitted by the wheels to the track and the support structure. To validate the load assumptions of static and fatigue analysis, it is necessary to measure these forces. Currently, it is deemed sufficient to measure only the accelerations, providing a limited view of the whole. This article presents a method to measure the actual forces and moments that act on a wheel. Since the diameters of roller coaster wheels are comparatively small (approx. 200mm) and the loads high (approx. 30kN), industrially available multi-axis transducers cannot be used. Therefore, a transducer design based on strain gauges was developed and successfully implemented in a roller coaster vehicle. Due to its scalability, its application is not limited to just roller coaster wheels: it can be used for all types of non-driven wheels as well.

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