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Railway ballast anisotropy testing via true triaxial apparatus

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Zelong YuORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This paper aims to demonstrate the anisotropic behaviour of railway ballast via true-triaxial tests. To do so, a novel, large-scale, true-triaxial testing apparatus (GeoTT) is designed and constructed. It consists of six hydraulic actuators, designed to apply a distributed stress to large granular cubic test specimens with dimensions: 500 mm × 500 m × 500 mm. To show the capability of the new facility, crushed granite railway ballast with d50 = 43 mm is tested. Three different confining stresses are applied to determine the Poisson’s ratio and modulus in three dimensions. Anisotropic behaviour is clearly evident, with horizontal directions showing a lower modulus compared to the vertical direction. It is also found that confining stress has an important effect on both Poisson’s ratio and modulus when the primary loading is applied in three orthogonal directions. These results are useful for understanding the behaviour of railway ballast and for the calibration of railroad numerical models.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yu ZL, Connolly DP, Woodward PK, Laghrouche O, Tutumluer E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transportation Geotechnics

Year: 2020

Volume: 23

Print publication date: 01/06/2020

Online publication date: 12/03/2020

Acceptance date: 10/03/2020

Date deposited: 21/03/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2214-3912

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.trgeo.2020.100355


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