Ballast rheology is a phenomenon that describes movements of ballast particles due to the discrete nature, which eventually leads to the ballast bed fluid deformation after a long-time service. In most cases, ballast rheology is the main reason of track irregularity that leads to some track defects, e.g., hanging sleeper and mud spots. Therefore, it is significant to confirm the ballast rheology mechanism, which not only benefits for alleviating track defects, prolonging track service and providing safe transportation, but also provides an innovated means for accurately calibrating the discrete element method (DEM) models. Towards this aim, the Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is utilised to study ballast rheology through measuring ballast particle displacements in the single sleeper push test (SSPT). The ballast rheology results are compared with those from the DEM SSPT model, through which the DEM model is calibrated. Results show that the PIV is an effective technical means for ballast rheology study and DEM model calibration. This study is helpful for the researchers to build more precise DEM models, further providing theoretical methodology for ballast track construction and innovations.
Bibliographical noteAccepted author manuscript
- Ballast rheology
- Ballasted track
- Discrete element method
- Single sleeper push test