A semi-empirical dilatancy model for ballast fouled with plastic fines
In the era of high speed trains, it is very important to ensure the stability of rail tracks under adverse conditions including the fouling of ballast. Fouling of ballast from unstable and saturated soft subgrade soil is one of the major reasons for track deterioration. The reported results of a number of large-scale laboratory experiments on the shear behaviour of ballast and fouled ballast are analysed, herein. It was observed that fines have a significant influence on the shear behaviour of ballast. Shear strength increases and dilatancy decreases with the addition of fines. In this paper, a semi-empirical mathematical model has been proposed to capture the dilatancy of ballast fouled with fines during shearing. The empirical constants a, b and c proposed in the model are a function of the fines content Void Contamination Index (VCI). The results of the model have been compared with the laboratory experiments and are found to be in good agreement.