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


The rail industry currently utilizes two wayside detection systems to monitor the health of freight railcar bearings in service: The Trackside Acoustic Detection System (TADS™) and the wayside Hot-Box Detector (HBD). Bearings that are removed from service are sent to specialized facilities where they undergo a reconditioning process before the bearings can be returned to rail service. The reconditioning process has been used for decades although there has been no previous study on the effectiveness of the reconditioning process on defective bearings that were removed from service. This persuaded the researchers from the University Transportation Center for Railway Safety (UTRCS) and the Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI) to design an experimental study to assess the efficacy of the reconditioning process. The work in this thesis summarizes the results of the temperature and vibration signatures of twenty bearings. To assess the effectiveness of the reconditioning process, twelve of the twenty bearings were tested pre- and post-reconditioning process. The remaining eight bearings were tested post-reconditioning for a complete service life testing consisting of approximately 400,000 km (~250,000 mi) at the UTCRS testing facility.


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