Wear Estimation of a Wheel-on-Track System for Radio Telescopes

May 30, 2004
Publication: Abaqus Users' Conference Proceedings, Boston, MA
Author(s): Rose, Brian D. Frank Kan Joseph Antebi Juneja, Gunjeet

Abstract: Many radio telescopes are supported by wheel-on-track systems composed of wheel bogies and wear plates mounted on base plates. In some installations, migration of the wear plates 
has been observed between the wear and base plates accompanied by significant wear and fracture of fasteners restraining the plates. In an effort to redesign or retrofit these wheel-on-track systems to increase their longevity, we  have studied the sliding and migration of the systems using implicit nonlinear finite element models incorporating contact and sliding. With these models, we estimated wear of the plates and the potential for fastener breakage for various design and retrofit options. The models often exhibit challenging numerical instabilities associated with contact and sliding. This paper highlights the mechanical behavior of the systems as well as techniques to overcome these instabilities.