2019: Prevention of wheel wear - a case study

Oskar Franzén and Agnieszka Inglot in collaboration with Eurocon Engineering, and SCA.

This bachelor degree project was created to solve the problem of easily worn down wheels on a pair of trolleys at SCAs pulp factory in Timerå. The trolleys were used to transport heavy batches of dried paper pulp between production lines. Due to the wear, the factory has suffered from high maintenance costs, production interruptions, and even derailing accidents. The aim of the thesis was to identify the cause of wear and delivered the blueprints of a wheel that not only had an improved wear resistance but also achieved an economical as well as an environmental advantage towards the previous solution.

Chosen design process and use of methods and tools.

The thesis were a collaboration between a Product Design Engineering student and a Mechanical Engineering student and the structure followed a mechanical design process. The structure of the thesis were created in a way to include and take advantage of both competences, to do so the project were divided in to four stages that each included methods from both students' area of expertise. In the two beginning phases (Project specification and solutions specification), the focus was on information gathering, the concept generation phase were used to create and evaluate solutions to the problem, and the solution development phase used different engineering methods to optimize the wheels.

Final design of wheel.

A wheel with an improved driving distance of up to 300%, and a reduction in wear volume by 50% was achieved. To achieve the results a new material were suggested that had superior mechanical quality's, the contact area between the wheel and the rail, and the radius of the flange root were increased to lower the contact stresses, and the thickness of the wheel flange were increased to avoid plastic deformation. In this thesis the combination of multiple different changes were applied to ensure the results reliability. The results were however purely theoretical with no physical test to support them, further testing would therefore be recommended before the solution can be safely implemented.

Oskar Franzén and Agnieszka Inglot.