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Discreet element modeling of under sleeper pads using a box test

Li, Huiqi; McDowell, Glenn R.

Discreet element modeling of under sleeper pads using a box test Thumbnail


Huiqi Li


It has recently been reported that under sleeper pads (USPs) could improve ballasted rail track by decreasing the sleeper settlement and reducing particle breakage. In order to find out what happens at the particle-pad interface, discrete element modelling (DEM) is used to provide micro mechanical insight. The same positive effects of USP are found in the DEM simulations. The evidence provided by DEM shows that application of a USP allows more particles to be in contact with the pad, and causes these particles to transfer a larger lateral load to the adjacent ballast but a smaller vertical load beneath the sleeper. This could be used to explain why the USP helps to reduce the track settlement. In terms of particle breakage, it is found that most breakage occurs at the particle-sleeper interface and along the main contact force chains between particles under the sleeper. The use of USPs could effectively reduce particle abrasion that occurs in both of these regions.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 2, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 17, 2018
Publication Date May 31, 2018
Deposit Date Mar 8, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 17, 2018
Journal Granular Matter
Print ISSN 1434-5021
Electronic ISSN 1434-7636
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 2
Article Number 26
Keywords DEM; Railway ballast; Under sleeper pad
Public URL
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