Update on Slip and Wear in Multi-Layer Azimuth Track Systems

July 6, 2006

Many antennas, such as the 100-m Green Bank Telescope, use a wheel-on-track systems in which the track segments consist of wear plates mounted on base plates. The wear plates are typically 2 to 3 inches thick and are case hardened or through hardened. The base plates are usually 3 to 4 times thicker than the wear plates and are not hardened. The wear plates are typically connected to the base plates using bolts. The base plates are supported on grout and anchored to the underlying concrete foundation. For some antennas, slip has been observed between the wear plate and base plate, and between the base plate and the grout, with the migration in the wheel rolling direction. In addition, there has been wear at the wear plate/base plate interface. This paper is an update on the evaluation of GBT track retrofit. The paper describes the use of three-dimensional non-linear finite element analyses to understand and evaluate the behavior of (1) the existing GBT wheel-on-track system with mitered joints, and (2) the various proposed modifications. The modifications include welding of the base plate joints, staggering of the wear plate joints from the base plate joints, changing thickness of the wear plate, and increasing bolt diameter and length. Parameters included in the evaluation were contact pressure, relative slip, wear at the wear plate/base plate interface, and bolt shears and moments.

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