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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 2, Number 3, September 2010, pages 161-176

The effectiveness of geosynthetic reinforcement, tamping, and stoneblowing of railtrack ballast beds under dynamic loading: DEM analysis
Sebastian Lobo-Guerrero and Luis E. Vallejo

    Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulations were developed to investigate the effectiveness of geosynthetic reinforcement and the effectiveness of maintenance techniques performed on a simulated ballast bed subjected to dynamic loading. The results from four samples subjected each one to a total of 425 load cycles are presented: one unreinforced and unmaintained sample, one unmaintained but reinforced sample, one unreinforced sample subjected to maintenance in the form of stoneblowing after 200 load cycles, and one unreinforced sample subjected to maintenance in the form of tamping after 200 load cycles. The obtained values of permanent deformation as a function of the applied number of load cycles for the four cases are presented together allowing a comparison of the effectiveness of each technique. Moreover, snapshots of the simulated track sections are presented at different moments of the simulations. The simulations indicated that the geosynthetic reinforcement may not be beneficial for the analyzed case while stoneblowing was the most effective maintenance technique.
Key Words
    railtracks; ballast; particle crushing; tamping; stoneblowing; geosynthetics; discrete element method; numerical analysis.
Sebastian Lobo-Guerrero: American Geotechnical & Environmental Services, Inc., Canonsburg, PA, U.S.A.
Luis E. Vallejo: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 949 Benedum Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, U.S.A.

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