Evaluation of Uniaxial Strain Transducer for Railroad Infrastructure
The uniaxial strain transducer (UAST) is a microelectromechanical system that features a high resolution, a high sampling rate, and absolute encoding. It needs no calibration and has no strain drift over time. Strains measured with a UAST were compared with those measured with a typical electrical resistance strain gauge. Some discrepancies between the two sets of measurements were observed in a bending test; however, there was a good correlation between the two measurements in tension and compression tests. Strains measured with the UAST under a cyclic load followed closely the haversine loading curves generated with a Materials Testing System testing machine. To obtain reasonably accurate strain measurements under moving trainloads, a 12-bit operational mode for the UAST with a resolution of 2.81 microstrain at 64 Hz for a loading cycle is recommended. This research project seeks to evaluate the potential for the development of a prototype hybrid UAST, which would incorporate strain data reduction algorithms into a UAST for railroad application by using existing UAST technologies.