Geotechnical characteristics of a Rubber Intermixed Ballast System

Publication Name

Acta Geotechnica


This study aims to promote the concept of using rubber granules from waste tyres as elastic aggregates blended with traditional ballast particles for better performance of rail tracks, i.e. a Rubber Intermixed Ballast System (RIBS). This paper describes the mechanical and compressibility characteristics of RIBS under monotonic loads and a criterion designed to determine the optimum rubber content in the proposed RIBS. The most interesting findings of this study embrace how the rubber granules in the blended rockfill assembly significantly reduce the dilation and modulus degradation, and the breakage of ballast aggregates. RIBS with more than 10% of rubber demonstrates a seemingly consistent reduction in dilation under changing confining pressures. Increased deviator stress and larger effective confining pressure compress the rubber particles within the RIBS which may cause relatively large initial settlements in the ballast layer, if the rubber content becomes excessive. It is also evident from the results that rubber particles ranging from 9.5 to 19 mm with similar angularity to ballast aggregates is advantageous, because, they reduce the breakage of load-bearing larger aggregates, thus effectively controlling ballast fouling within the granular matrix.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)