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. Robert Jones

Third Advisor

Dr. Arturo Fuentes


The AdapterPlus™ Pad, made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), is used to enhance steering and prevent metal-to-metal contact between the railcar side frame and the bearing adapter. Although the AdapterPlus™ Pad acts as a pedestal liner in the suspension assembly, it must allow electric current to flow from the rail, through the bearing adapter wall to the side frame in order to activate a solenoid air valve that releases cargo gates. Currently, the pad uses copper inserts that allow current through. Because the Adapter Plus™ Pad is subject to large dynamic loads, the copper inserts permanently deform losing contact and cutting the flow of current to the solenoid. To prevent this function loss, a new insert design of TPU mixed with carbon black will replace the copper inserts. This thesis details the design and optimization of a thermoplastic polyurethane-carbon black mixed (TPU-CB) material that will act as a conductive insert


Copyright 2013 Ruben Suarez Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American