Wayside detection of wheel minor defects in high-speed trains by a Bayesian blind source separation method

Xiao Zhou Liu, Chi Xu, Yi Qing Ni

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


For high-speed trains, out-of-roundness (OOR)/defects on wheel tread with small radius deviation may suffice to give rise to severe damage on both vehicle components and track structure when they run at high speeds. It is thus highly desirable to detect the defects in a timely manner and then conduct wheel re-profiling for the defective wheels. This paper presents a wayside fiber Bragg grating (FBG)-based wheel condition monitoring system which can detect wheel tread defects online during train passage. A defect identification algorithm is developed to identify potential wheel defects with the monitoring data of rail strain response collected by the devised system. In view that minor wheel defects can only generate anomalies with low amplitude compared with the wheel load effect, advanced signal processing methods are needed to extract the defect-sensitive feature from the monitoring data. This paper explores a Bayesian blind source separation (BSS) method to decompose the rail response signal and to obtain the component that contains defect-sensitive features. After that, the potential defects are identified by analyzing anomalies in the time history based on the Chauvenet’s criterion. To verify the proposed defect detection method, a blind test is conducted using a new train equipped with defective wheels. The results show that all the defects are identified and they concur well with offline wheel radius deviation measurement results. Minor defects with a radius deviation of only 0.06 mm are successfully detected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3981
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2019


  • Bayesian blind source separation
  • FBG sensor array
  • High-speed train
  • Online wayside detection
  • Wheel minor defect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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