Research projects with public funding constitute a major part of research activities of the Educational and Research Centre in Transport. These projects are complemented by commercial research – from standard experimental tests of smaller extent to innovative research tasks for industrial partners. We offer advanced expertise and complex approach to solution of problems encompassing various fields of transport technology.
A brief summary of our most significant commercial research activities since 2014 is given below.
Loading tests of structures
The ERCT is equipped with dynamic test lab and other equipment for testing of components and structures under static and dynamic loading. We have tested strength of a steel-concrete structural module or examined forces in stanchions of a trailer for wood transport. The largest specimen so far has been a part of a steel bridge with special reinforcement and a piece of railway track.
Customers: Ghent University (Belgium), Victor Buyck Steel Construction (Belgium), Hořické strojírny spol. s r.o., Ing. Ivan Šír - Projektování dopravních staveb a.s.
Testing of mechanical properties of materials
We perform tests of strength and other mechanical properties of small-scale material specimens. We have extensive experience with special high-strength materials and welded and glued joints, for example for automotive industry. It is possible to subject the specimens to high speed tensile testing, even under high or low temperatures.
Metalographic and fractographic analyses
We deal with analysis of material structure and assessment of metalurgical quality; our instruments allow to determine chemical composition in small volumes of material. The analyses may follow on previous strength or other tests of material specimens. Based on analysis of components failed in service, we can examine the causes of the failures.
Laboratory geotechnical tests
During construction and refurbishment of transport infrastructure, it is often needed to determine mechanical properties of soils and rocks found at the construction site. In our civil engineering labs, we perform tests and analyses of specimens to assess all necessary geotechnical characteristics and indices.
Tests of vehicle suspension properties
Characteristics of suspensions for rail or road vehicles cannot be always determined by calculations, esp. in cases of complex assemblies and multiaxial loading. We have plenty of experience with measurement of radial stiffness of flexi-coil springs including various rubber pads of special design which are used in modern railway vehicles. We have tested a whole assembly of primary suspension including a swing arm with a joint and we have determined real characteristics of this suspension assembly.
Tests on road and rail vehicles
The research activities of the ERCT are not limited to experiments performed in the labs but include also field tests on vehicles in operation - both rail vehicles and road vehicles. We have, for instance, performed measurements on a brake unit of a tram, on a special vehicle for army purposes or on a road trailer for transport of wood.
Testing of solid lubricants for wheel–rail interface
In the labs of rail vehicles and materials engineering, we assess performance of solid lubricants and friction modifiers for the wheel–rail interface. We perform standard comparative tests to determine friction coefficient following EN 16028. The testing conditions and procedure can be adjusted to the needs of each customer. It is possible to run full-scale tests for measurement of lubricant consumption, measure wear of steel discs or add metalographic analyses after testing.
Analyses of fuels, oils and lubricants
We perform testing of fuels, oils and other liquids used in machines, especially in vehicles. The laboratory instruments allow to measure viscosity, density, ignition temperature and other physical properties and indices used in diagnostics of fuels, oils and lubricants.
Other commercial research items
- Inspection of technical possibilities of vehicles for winter road maintenance, Krajská správa a údržba silnic Vysočiny
- Assessment of current state and design of modifications of suspension of a Class M27 railcar, JHMD, a.s.
- Static loading test of road structural courses, Elektrizace železnic Praha a.s.
- Diagnostics of a road structure, Ing. Aleš Hlavatý, Ing. Tomáš Rak
- Research of influence of soap solutions on friction in the wheel–rail contact, Virtual Vehicle Research Center (Austria)
- Manufacturing of railway wheel specimens for twin-disc tests, Brno University of Technology