Nonlinear transient analysis of a railway concrete sleeper in a track system
Railway sleepers in a track system are usually subjected to a wide range of loading conditions. A critical type of loading condition that causes cracking in the railway concrete sleepers is the dynamic transient wheel force. The transient wheel forces are often due to wheel or rail abnormalities. This paper presents a dynamic finite element model of a railway concrete sleeper in a track system, aimed at raising the consideration of dynamic effects in sleeper design. The railway concrete sleeper is modeled using the beam-on-elastic-foundation theory. Since in the actual tracks the ballast underneath does not provide any tensile resistance, the finite beam elements employed in this investigation take into account the bending and shear deformations, together with the tensionless nature of the elastic support. This paper places emphasis on the effect of the transient periods on the flexural responses of railway sleepers in track systems. Using the robust finite element software STRAND7, the finite element model of the railway concrete sleeper was previously established and validated against experimental data by the authors. The numerical analyses present the ratio between the dynamic and the static bending moment resultants, the dynamic magnification factor, of the railway concrete sleeper under different sinusoidal pulse durations.