TARRC & MRB help KL Monorail

TARRC & MRB help solve problem with KL Monorail train

KL MonorailWhen Kuala Lumpur (KL) Monorail were experiencing problems with the ride comfort of their trains, particularly shuddering as the trains went round corners, they found that substituting an existing guide spring with a softer one considerably improved ride quality. Initially KL Monorail approached a local rubber company and asked them to manufacture a suitable rubber spring to help them with the problem. Linatex then approached the MRB in Malaysia for help.

Since the rubber company KL Monoraildid not have the necessary design expertise, MRB took the project over and worked directly with Monorail. Julia Gough, from TARRC's Engineering & Design Unit who was a secondee at the MRB at the time, used FEA to design a rubber component which met Monorail’s requirements for a soft spring with a rising stiffness at large deflections. Because the trains run continuously for 18 hours a day and the spring is cycled continuously, fatigue failure is liable to occur. TARRC’s understanding and experience of rubber failure was used to come up with a design which would resist fatigue damage for as long as possible.

Below is an FEA simulation of the rubber spring under load.

FEA simulation of the rubber spring under load

Installation of the rubber spring in one of the train boogieOnce the basic design was agreed, a mould was designed by staff at the MRB and fabricated by Monorail. The new spring was also subjected to fatigue testing at MRB and performed satisfactorily. Springs were manufactured and installed on some trains and the expected improvement in ride quality was achieved. The installation of the rubber spring in one of the train boogies can be seen here in the picture on the right.

The design was awarded a silver medal at ITEX '07 (The 18th Malaysia International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition) in Kuala Lumpur in May 2007.

If you wish to know more about the work carried out by TARRC's Engineering Design Unit and the KL Monorail please contact Julia Gough.


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Friday 6th July 2007