Severe Service Control Valves Design and Analysis

ReconEng is the principal flow design supplier to MASCOT International, a control valves OEM. VC valves are high-severity application valves typically requiring high pressure drop in a short space, resulting in very severe wear environment. ReconEng designed and developed proprietary valve trim technology which dissipates excess energy of the flow in a small space and without cavitation, technology typically used in oil and gas applications. The VC trim technology was a significant technological achievement, likely a World-first at the time. In 2010 ReconEng signed IP agreement granting MASCOT exclusive World-wide license to commercialize the technology.

Locomotive Cabin Overheating Analysis

As part of the AutoHaul project commissioning, an unexpected cabin heat buildup was identified resulting in a network-wide operational stoppage of the highest priority. ReconEng engineering team was selected to investigate. The analysis involved data collection, thermal modeling, and mechanical systems design analysis. The investigation identified the root cause of the problem in the air conditioning systems. A small-capex upgrade was designed and trialed which in addition to resolving the stoppage, resulted in the system thermal efficiency improvement of more than 40 per cent, as well as estimated fleet-wide fuel savings of $1m per year.

Locomotive Plow Fatigue Failure Analysis

As part of the AutoHaul project ReconEng was tasked with the fatigue analysis of the plow collision detection system bolted joints. The purpose of the analysis was to determine whether the redesigned joint would be susceptible to fatigue failure over the service life. Force washers were used to record the mine-to-port force level occurrences on the UNC Grade 8 bolts. The operational loads were found to be well below the bolt steel fatigue endurance limit (constant-life method and the stress-life method) and therefore unlikely to fail by fatigue across the service life.

Push-Pull Props Limit Load Validation

Design analysis and testing of a range of push-pull support props used in the pre-cast construction industry. The purpose of the works was to determine the limit-loads for different prop sizes and configurations. The project involved compression testing and finite element analysis of 18 different models, each in three configurations, as well as analysis and interpretation of the results found in accordance with procedures and criteria of AS / NZS 3850-2003. On completion an authoritative table of limit loads was established for use in the pre-cast projects design and delivery.

V/Line Driver's Cabin Modelling

ReconEng was tasked with scanning and 3D modelling of the Bombardier VLocity 160 driver’s cabin. The purpose of the works was the supply of authentic 3D models of the cabin interior for the purposes of a train simulator design for driver training. The work was completed using an in-house NDI Vicra laser metrology scanner, which enabled rapid and accurate scanning of large amounts of complex CAD data and with minimal onsite time. In addition to reverse engineering the complex geometry, NDI scan enabled reduced time to prototype and significantly reduced rework and time to project completion.