Experimental and Discrete Element Modeling of Geocell-Stabilized Subballast Subjected to Cyclic Loading

B. Indraratna, C. Rujikiatkamjorn, M.M. Biabani, N. T. Ngo
International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering

This paper presents a study of the load-deformation behavior of geocell-stabilized subballast subjected to cyclic loading using a novel track process simulation apparatus. The tests were conducted at frequencies varying from 10 to 30 Hz. This frequency range is generally representative of Australian standard gauge trains operating up to 160km/h160  km/h. The discreteelement method (DEM) was also used to model geocell-reinforced subballast under plane strain conditions. The geocell was modeled by connecting a group of small circular balls together to form the desired geometry and aperture using contact and parallel bonds. Tensile and bending tests were carried out to calibrate the model parameters adopted for simulating the geocell. To model irregularly shaped particles of subballast, clusters of bonded circular balls were used. The simulated load-deformation curves of the geocell-reinforced subballast assembly at varying cyclic load cycles were in good agreement with the experimental observations. The results indicated that the geocell decreased the vertical and lateral deformation of subballast assemblies at any given frequency. Furthermore, the DEM can also provide insight into the distribution of contact force chains, and average contact normal and shear force distributions, which cannot be determined experimentally.


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