Mechanical characteristic variation of ballastless track in high-speed railway: effect of train–track interaction and environment loads

Due to the fact that ballastless tracks in high-speed railways are not only subjected to repeated train–track dynamic interaction loads, but also suffer from complex environmental loads, the fundamental understanding of mechanical performance of ballastless tracks under sophisticated service conditions is an increasingly demanding and challenging issue in high-speed railway networks. This work aims to reveal the effect of train–track interaction and environment loads on the mechanical characteristic variation of ballastless tracks in high-speed railways, particularly focusing on the typical interface damage evolution between track layers. To this end, a finite element model of a double-block ballastless track involving the cohesive zone model for the track interface is first established to analyze the mechanical properties of the track interface under the loading–unloading processes of the negative temperature gradient load (TGL) followed by the same cycle of the positive TGL. Subsequently, the effect of wheel–rail longitudinal interactions on the nonlinear dynamic characteristics of the track interface is investigated by using a vehicle-slab track vertical-longitudinal coupled dynamics model. Finally, the influence of dynamic water pressure induced by vehicle dynamic load on the mechanical characteristics and damage evolution of the track interface is elucidated using a fluid–solid coupling method. Results show that the loading history of the positive and negative TGLs has a great impact on the nonlinear development and distribution of the track interface stress and damage; the interface damage could be induced by the wheel–rail longitudinal vibrations at a high vehicle running speed owing to the dynamic amplification effect caused by short wave irregularities; the vehicle dynamic load could produce considerable water pressure that presents nonlinear spatial–temporal characteristics at the track interface, which would lead to the interface failure under a certain condition due to the coupled dynamic effect of vehicle load and water pressure.


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  • Accession Number: 01760503
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 6 2020 3:11PM