Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

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. Stephen W. Crown


Bearing related derailments cause very high cost and inconvenience to the railroad industry. Various wayside detection systems have been implemented to assess bearing condition and prevent premature failure. However, current devices fail to determine the internal condition of bearings or provide insight regarding the danger and severity of defects and abnormalities that may be present. To this end, a device combining both temperature and vibration detection was designed to be embedded in railroad bearing adapters. In order to efficiently design a railroad bearing condition-monitoring system, two factors that must be considered are the capabilities available to operate the different sensors during field service and the most efficient placement to facilitate retrofitting to railcars. For the temperature-sensing portion of the device, low power voltage-to-temperature converters are considered and tested. As far as the vibration-sensing portion of the device, a thorough analysis was conducted to determine the capabilities needed to differentiate defective and defect-free bearings, followed by an accelerometer selection process consisting of testing of three different models. The prototype proved effective in addressing bearing condition while remaining low cost and feasible for continuous monitoring.


Copyright 2012 Andrea P. Arguelles. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American