Use of Synthetic Energy Absorbing Layer (SEAL) in Rail Substructure to Minimize Track Degradation

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Geotechnical Special Publication, 2023, 2023-March, (GSP 343), pp. 343-352
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This paper presents novel solutions for increasing the stability and resiliency of track structures by developing a synthetic energy-absorbing layer (SEAL) using recycled rubber products based on large-scale laboratory tests (i.e., drop-hammer impact tests and cubic triaxial tests). This includes (1) installing recycled rubber mats under ballast, and (2) using SEAL composed of a mixture of rubber crumbs, steel furnace slag, and coal wash with changing amounts of rubber: 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, and 40% (by weight) to replace traditional rockfill as subballast. The test results confirm that the inclusion of a recycled rubber mat underneath the ballast layer actively reduces ballast deformation and the propagation of impact loading within the depth of the substructure. Also, the SEAL mixture with 10% rubber reduces the track lateral dilation, reduces ballast breakage and load distribution, and also maintains an acceptable settlement.
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