Laboratory assessment of rubber grid-reinforced ballast under impact testing

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Geotechnique Letters, 2023, 13, (2), pp. 1-22
Issue Date:
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This study presents the use of rubber grids (RGs) fabricated from end-of-life conveyor belts (i.e. discarded from the mining industry) to improve the performance of ballast tracks. The square apertures of these recycled rubber sheets were cast using a waterjet cutting process. A series of large-scale impact tests were performed on ballast specimens stabilised with three different grids of varied effective area ratios (KA.eff) to evaluate their effectiveness in mitigating the applied impact forces, in relation to both displacement and breakage of the ballast aggregates. Smart Ballast particles with motion-sensing capabilities were adopted to monitor the interaction between the grid and ballast assembly. The impact test results indicate that the inclusion of a RG decreases the deformation and breakage of ballast as well as reduces its vibrations. This study demonstrates that these recycled RGs with optimum effective area ratios can be more effective than conventional polymer geogrids, apart from the obvious environmental benefits.
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