Railroad Tie Responses to Directly Applied Rail Seat Loading in Ballasted Tracks : A Computational Study.
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Railroad Tie Responses to Directly Applied Rail Seat Loading in Ballasted Tracks : A Computational Study.

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  • English

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    • Abstract:
      This paper describes work in-progress that applies the

      finite element (FE) method in predicting the responses of

      individual railroad crossties to rail seat pressure loading in a

      ballasted track. Both wood and prestressed concrete crossties

      are examined. The concrete tie is modeled as a heterogeneous

      medium with prestressing wires or strands embedded in a

      concrete matrix. The constitutive relations employed in the

      models are: elasticity followed by damaged plasticity for the

      concrete material, linear elastic bond-slip relations with

      potential initiation and evolution of damage to the bond for the

      steel-concrete interfaces, orthotropic elasticity followed by

      failure dictated by orthotropic stress criteria for the wood ties,

      extended Drucker-Prager plasticity for the granular and

      frictional ballast material, and elastic half space for the

      subgrade. The corresponding material parameters are obtained

      from the open literature.

      Under a simplified pressure load uniformly distributed

      over the rail seat area, the FE method predicts tensile cracking

      at the tie base below the rail seats of a concrete tie and

      compressive failure in the rail seats of a wood tie. The rail seat

      force-displacement relations are obtained from the simulations.

      The resultant rail seat forces at which tie failures occur are

      compared for concrete and wood ties.

      The FE method appears to be a promising tool for

      studying the railroad tie behavior under rail seat loading

      conditions in a ballasted track. Experimental data will be

      sought to calibrate the material parameters and verify the

      modeling approach. Additional track components, particularly

      rails, rail pads and fasteners, will be incorporated in future

      modeling efforts. This detailed modeling approach may help to

      shed light on the rail seat deterioration failure mechanisms

      observed in some concrete ties.

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