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Rail News: Mechanical

AAR approves Standard Steel's 'K+' axle design


Standard Steel recently obtained approval from the Association of American Railroads to manufacture 4,000 car sets of a modified Class K axle designed to reduce body bending stresses.

The axle — designated by AAR as "K+" — features a larger body center diameter (7.87 inches) compared with current Class K axles (7.37 inches). Standard Steel's design does not include a taper along the body between the wheelseats.

During finite element analysis tests simulating stresses from 286,000-pound gross rail loads, the company found that bending stresses at the K+ axle's center were about 18 percent less compared with a K axle's center. Less stress helps reduce fatigue failures in heavy-haul service and improve safety, Standard Steel officials said in a prepared statement.

Officials plan to present technical paper "Use of Finite Element Analysis to Improve Axles for Heavy-Haul Service" at the International Heavy Haul Association's meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 14-16 to discuss the K+ axle's test results.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/4/2005