Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Constantine Tarawneh

Second Advisor

Dr. Arturo Fuentes

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Jones


Understanding the internal heat generation of the railroad bearing elastomer suspension element during operation is essential to predict its dynamic response and structural integrity, as well as to predict the thermal behavior of the complete railroad bearing assembly including the bearing adapter. The latter is essential for sensor selection and placement within the adapter (e.g., typical temperature sensors have operating ranges of up to 125°C or 257°F). The internal heat generation is a function of the loss modulus, strain, and frequency. Based on experimental studies, estimations of internally generated heat within the thermoplastic elastomer pad were obtained. The calculations show that the pad internal heat generation is impacted by temperature and frequency. However, during service operation, exposure of the suspension pad to loading frequencies above 10 Hz is less likely to occur. Therefore, internal heat generation values that have a significant impact on the suspension pad steady-state temperature are less likely to be reached. An experimentally validated finite element thermal model that can be used to obtain temperature distribution maps of complete bearing assemblies in service operation conditions is presented. This thesis summarizes the work done to investigate the effect of the internal heat generation in the thermoplastic elastomer suspension element on the thermal behavior of the railroad bearing assembly.


Copyright 2018 Oscar O. Rodriguez. All Rights Reserved.