Experimental study and discrete element analysis on dynamic mechanical behaviour of railway ballast bed in windblown sand areas

Hong Xiao, Zhihai Zhang, Yihao Chi, Meng Wang, Haoyu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Due to the limitation of the geological environment, many railways around the world are built in desert areas. The intrusion of sand particles can increase the stiffness of ballast beds and cause corrosion and fracture of fasteners, turnout blockage, etc., even affecting the service safety of railways. In the paper, based on the results of field and laboratory tests, a three-dimensional discrete element model of the sandy ballast bed is developed to study the effect of sand intrusion on the load sharing ratio of sleepers, contact forces between ballast particles, displacements of ballast particles, and energy dissipation in ballast beds. The results show that the axle load in sandy tracks is mainly shared by three sleepers under the single-axle load and six sleepers under the dual-axle load. The maximum contact force under the sleeper in the sandy ballast bed is about 80% larger than that in the clean ballast bed and its normal and tangential contact forces are also larger than that in the clean ballast bed. The ballast particles at the ballast shoulder of the clean ballast bed move downward in the direction of less than 45°, while those in the sandy ballast bed move outward at the direction of 90°. The sand intrusion inhibits the movement of ballast particles and may cause a rheological phenomenon of ballast particles at the ballast shoulder. The intrusion of sand particles mainly affects the elastic strain energy and damping energy in ballast beds but has less effect on friction energy and kinetic energy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124669
Number of pages17
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Volume304
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Angle of repose test
  • Energy evolution
  • Field test
  • Load sharing ratio
  • Movement of ballast particles
  • Windblown sand railway

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