Rail maintenance made easy with the EMAT

Vincent Chartie.

The rail monitoring trolley EMAT, developed in In2Track3, facilitates rail maintenance by detecting surface damages on the tracks.  “We believe Emat will be ready for the market within 3-4 years”, says Vincent Chartie, project manager at Railenium, the French railway research institute that is developing the EMAT technology for railway.

Detecting cracks on the surface of the rail is important to maintain the functionality of the railway and is cost efficient in the long run. Today’s rail surface damage control is made mainly by video or visual analysis of the track. But the process is slow and not as accurate as the Emat.

“The Emat (ElectroMagnetic Acoustic Transducers) can detect faults on the surface such as cracks, ripples, head checks and squats using an acoustic sensor and an algorithm that analyses the information from the sensor”, says Vincent Chartie. 

Rail with Head Check defects. Photo: Railenium.
Rail with Head Check defects. Photo: Railenium.

The sensor technology is already in use in other industries such as to detect damages on gas and oil pipelines. Within In2Track3, Railenium have put the sensor on a trolley and developed an algorithm that is able to analyse the data to detect damages to the rail. 

“We believe the EMAT will be ready for the market within 3-4 years, then the technology could be of great use for train maintenance companies”, says Vincent Chartie. 

If you are interested in how it operates, here is a video that Railenium have made to display the technology.

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