Fiber optic rail strain pad (RASP)
Railway tracks in alpine regions consist of many curves with a small radii. The elastic pads fitted between the rail and sleepers wears rapidly and requires replacement every few years. If the deterioration of the pads is not detected in time, the sleepers will be damaged incurring costs and even closure of the train line to accommodate their replacement.
The challenge facing this development are the small dimensions of the pad structure and large strain values (>6000 μe) that are induced by the loading on the pad. The Graz University of Technology has used DTG’s through their ability to withstand long term high strain loads and also due to their low bending losses when used in a confined space.