Estimating Deterioration in the Concrete Tie-Ballast Interface Based on Vertical Tie Deflection Profile: A Numerical Study

In ballasted concrete tie track, the tie-ballast interface can deteriorate resulting in concrete tie bottom abrasion, ballast pulverization and/or voids in tie-ballast interfaces. Tie-ballast voids toward tie ends can lead to unfavorable center binding support conditions that can result in premature concrete tie failure and possible train derailment. Direct detection of these conditions is difficult. There is a strong interest in assessing the concrete tie-ballast interface conditions indirectly using measured vertical deflections. This paper seeks to establish a link between the vertical deflection profile of a concrete tie top surface and the tie-ballast interface condition using the finite element analysis (FEA) method. The work presented in this paper demonstrates the potential of using the vertical deflection profile of concrete tie top surfaces to assess deteriorations in the tie-ballast interface. The simulation results further help to clarify minimum technical requirements on inspection technologies that measure concrete tie vertical deflection profiles.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Research, Development, and Technology
    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Yu, Hailing
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2016


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01610812
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: JRC2016-5783
  • Created Date: Jul 8 2016 9:45AM