Bitumen stabilized ballast: a potential solution for railway track-bed

D'Angelo, Giacomo, Thom, Nicholas and Lo Presti, Davide (2016) Bitumen stabilized ballast: a potential solution for railway track-bed. Construction and Building Materials, 124 . pp. 118-126. ISSN 1879-0526

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Railway ballast degradation under dynamic loads progressively leads to loss of mechanical performance and geometry of the track, so that maintenance interventions are frequently needed. In order to systematically avoid this issue, recently solutions have been proposed to reinforce track-bed by using polyurethane and/or resins as well as asphalt layers among others. Nonetheless, their main limitations are related to the high initial cost and low productivity.

To cope with these limitations, in this study, bitumen stabilized ballast (BSB) is proposed as a new solution for ballast stabilization. This method aims at improving durability and reducing settlement by modifying both stiffness and the ability of energy dissipation of the layer. The paper introduces the potential of this technology as material to be used in railway track-beds by presenting the results of a laboratory-based investigation using the Precision Unbound Material Analyser (PUMA). Different variables such as ballast grading, bitumen emulsion dosage, compaction method and stress levels are considered. Results showed a significant decrease in permanent deformation and deformation rate associated with modified stiffness and energy dissipation properties of BSB, which suggest the potential for improving long-term performance and sustainability of ballasted track.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Bitumen stabilized ballast; Railway trackbed maintenance; Ballast stabilization; Ballast recycling
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Civil Engineering
Identification Number:
Depositing User: D'angelo, Giacomo
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2016 08:10
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:16

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