Saeed Abbasi (KTH)

Published: 10 February 2014

Towards elimination of airborne particles from rail traffic

Since the investigation of wear particles from rail transport started in the late 1910s, the high mass concentrations of these particles have prompted concern among researchers interested in air quality. However, effective action has yet to be taken because relevant knowledge is still missing. This thesis provides knowledge of airborne wear particles originating from rail transport. Some aspects of their characteristic parameters, such as size, mass concentration, number concentration, and morphology, were investigated in the field and in laboratory tests. We also discuss means to mitigate non-exhaust emissions, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of various test set-ups in the seven appended journal papers:Paper A reviews recent studies of exhaust and non-exhaust emissions from rail vehicles. The results, measurements, adverse health effects, and proposed or applied solutions presented in this literature are summarized in this paper.Paper B summarizes the results of field tests we conducted. The effects of curve negotiation and braking under different real conditions were investigated in a field test in which on-board measurements were made. The elemental composition and morphology of the particles emitted and their potential sources were also investigated.Paper C describes how a pin-on-disc machine can be used to reproduce real operating conditions during mechanical train braking in a controlled laboratory setting. The results were validated by comparing the field test results with the results of laboratory studies.Paper D presents comprehensive results of laboratory studies of airborne particles from different braking materials. A new index is introduced in this paper, which can be used as a quantitative metric for assessing airborne wear particle emission rates.Paper E describes the effects of using various friction modifiers and lubricants on the characteristics of airborne particles from wheel–rail contact under lubricated and unlubricated conditions.Paper F reports work to simulate thermoelastic instability in the cast-iron braking material. We simulated the fluctuation of the flash temperature by considering the temperature dependency of the material properties and the transformation of the contact state due to thermomechanical phenomena and wear.Paper G reviews new full- and sub-scale measurements of non-exhaust emissions from ground transport. The advantages and disadvantages of on-board measurements, pin-on-disc tests, dynamometer tests, and test rig studies are discussed in this paper.