J. Irazábal González, F. Salazar, E. Oñate
In the last two decades there has been a great development of high-speed train lines. This advance has led to more demanding loads in railway infrastructures and the appearance of a new problem called ballast flight that happens when some stones rise when the train passes. For these reasons, the development of an application that allows the numerical modelling of the ballast superstructure under different stresses can be very useful, as it will enable design optimization. The DEM is being considered an effective and powerful method for the calculation of engineering problems with granular and discontinuous materials. Railroad ballast layer consists of discrete aggregate particles, so that DEM is one of the most suitable ways to simulate the behavior of particulate ballast material. However, the computational cost of contact calculation between irregular particles is high and limits the calculation capability. From the point of view of micro-scale analysis, it is essential to represent the exact geometry of the particle. On the other hand, if the interest lies in the behavior of the granular material as a whole, the geometry is not a determining factor. Besides that, setting up a simulation of granular material taking care of the exact geometry of each particle will not be efficient. Current work presents the methodology followed to achieve accurate results in the calculation of railway ballast behaviour using DEM and spherical particles. The use of spherical particles reduces the computational cost and makes the simulation set up efficient. Validation results for the calculation of the lateral resistance force against a sleeper moving inside a ballast bed are presented. Regarding ballast flight problem, some high speed ballast collision calculations have also been performed.
Published on 01/01/2015
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license
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