Numerical and analytical modeling of particle degredation
Large cyclic loads are nowinevitable due to an increased demand for freight and public transport. The ballast layer subjected to these repeated traffic loads in a real track environment undergoes excessive deformation and degradation. Ballast degradation is influenced by various factors including the amplitude and number of load cycles, confining pressure, frequency, the angularity as well as fracture strength of individual grains. Given the complexities of the behaviour of the rail track, the current track analysis techniques are overly simplified. Considering this, an elasto-plastic constitutive model of a composite track is proposed. The largescale laboratory tests are simulated in a numerical model and the results are then analyzed to better understand the distribution of displacements and stresses inside the ballast layer. The advantages of the elasto-plastic finite element simulations when compared to conventional analytical methods used by practitioners that are primarily based on a linear elastic approach are demonstrated.
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