Evaluation of time and frequency condition indicators from vibration signals for crack detection in railway axles

Réne Vinicio Sánchez, Pablo Lucero, Jean Carlo Macancela, Higinio Rubio Alonso, Mariela Cerrada, Diego Cabrera, Cristina Castejón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Railway safety is a matter of importance as a single failure can involve risks associated with economic and human losses. The early fault detection in railway axles and other railway parts represents a broad field of research that is currently under study. In the present work, the problem of the early crack detection in railway axles is addressed through condition-based monitoring, with the evaluation of several condition indicators of vibration signals on time and frequency domains. To achieve this goal, we applied two different approaches: in the first approach, we evaluate only the vibrations signals captured by accelerometers placed along the longitudinal direction and, in the second approach, a data fusion technique at the condition indicator level was conducted, evaluating six accelerometers by merging the indicator conditions according to the sensor placement. In both cases, a total of 54 condition indicators per vibration signal was calculated and selecting the best features by applying the Mean Decrease Accuracy method of Random Forest. Finally, we test the best indicators with a K-Nearest Neighbor classifier. For the data collection, a real bogie test bench has been used to simulate crack faults on the railway axles, and vibration signals from both the left and right sides of the axle were measured. The results not only show the performance of condition indicators in different domains, but also show that the fusion of condition indicators works well together to detect a crack fault in railway axles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4367
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research received no external funding, the APC was funded by Universidad Polit?cnica Salesiana through the research group GIDTEC. Authors would like to thank the support provided by the Spanish Government, through the MAQ-STATUS DPI2015-69325-C2-1-R project, and Universidad Polit?cnica Salesiana through the research group GIDTEC.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Condition monitoring
  • Crack detection
  • Feature extraction
  • Feature selection
  • Frequency-domain features
  • Railway axles
  • Random forest classifier
  • Time-domain features


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