Mechanical Behavior of Fouled Polyurethane Stabilized Ballast (PSB)

The United State (US) Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that the demand for rail freight transportation (tonnage) will increase 88% by 2035. North American railroads spend about $3.4 billion every year on track substructure maintenance and renewal due to track-component degradation. With increases in traffic density and weight will come more deformation and consequently more maintenance of the ballast layer. It is necessary to develop an alternative method in order to decrease maintenance cost. One such method is injection of polyurethane resin at critical locations in the ballast. It has been demonstrated that this method is effective on clean ballast as a preventive measure. This study is aimed at evaluating its effectiveness in remediating already fouled ballast. Thus, clean ballast was mixed with various types of fouling at different amounts, water contents, and sealed in rectangular (76 mm x 76 mm x 290 mm) and cylindrical (254 mm x 508 mm) molds. The polyurethane was injected into the molds and the specimens were allowed to cure for 24 hours. This testing protocol was developed to quantify plastic deformation, flexural strength and unconfined compressive strength of the fouling ballast stabilized by polyurethane. The results show that the injection of polyurethane into fouled ballast significantly reduces plastic strain, increases strength, and minimizes fines intrusion. Increasing the amount of fouling material and water content reduces strength and increases plastic strain. Results of this study are also compared with a previous study conducted on clean ballast induced by polyurethane. It is found that a use of polyurethane injection into the ballast can be a fast and cost effective solution for maintenance of the railway systems.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program. Cover title: Mechanical Behavior of Polyurethane Stabilized Fouled Ballast (PSFB)
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE)

    University of Wisconsin, Madison
    1415 Engineering Drive, 2205 Engineering Hall
    Madison, WI  United States  53706

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Dolcek, Tolga
    • Warren, Benjamin
    • Edil, Tuncer
    • Tinjum, James
  • Publication Date: 2012-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 100p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01531912
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CFIRE 07-01
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0020
  • Created Date: Jul 22 2014 3:30PM