Discrete Element Modeling of Railroad Ballast Behavior

An innovative integrated computational-experimental laboratory testing framework has been developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to evaluate clean and fouled ballast behavior. The railroad ballast layer consists of discrete aggregate particles and it is a critical substructure component that controls the track response under repeated train loading. Laboratory experiments and discrete element numerical simulations were performed to understand the underlying mechanisms of the complex ballast behavior and to provide the quantitative evaluation of response under periodic train loading. Large scale triaxial tests were performed in the laboratory under controlled monotonic and repeated loading conditions for shear strength, modulus, and deformation characteristics. A user-friendly discrete element simulation platform, BALLAST-BLOKS3D, was also developed. It utilizes realistic polyhedral particles digitally quantified from image analysis technology. The behavior of clean and fouled ballast was successfully studied via BALLAST-BLOKS3D.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    1901 S 1st Street, Suite A
    Champaign, IL  United States  61820-7473

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Railroad Policy and Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Research, Development, and Technology
    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Tutumluer, Erol
    • Hashash, Youssef M A
    • Ghaboussi, Jamshid
    • Qian, Yu
    • Lee, Seung J
    • Huang, Hai
  • Publication Date: 2018-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report; Technical Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 97p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01675678
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FRA/ORD-18/20
  • Contract Numbers: FR-RRF-0033-11-01-00
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 16 2018 12:17PM