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Discrete Element Modelling of the Unbound Layer for Slab Tracks on High Embankment
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

According to Swedish guidelines for high speed railways on embankment, the total settlement is limited to 20 mm over a track length of 10 m during the construction service life. The main objective of this thesis was to investigate the deformation in the subgrade (unbound layer) in a slab track, since there are very few studies related to high speed railways on high earth structure, discussing particularly the unbound layer.

This thesis examined the unbound layer consisting of granular material by using the discrete element method (DEM) software PFC. There was a focus on the material compaction and deformations due to traffic loading. DEM has the benefit to be able to model deformation with due consideration of processes at microscale level.

Two different particle shapes were tested: balls and clumps. The results showed that the settlements were small, possibly associated to the well compacted material and the simplifications in the model, such as the shape of the particles, absence of particle breakage and the applied traffic load. The clump simulations resulted in less settlements and permanent strains compared to the ball simulations. The higher the embankment the more settlements but less strains were produced for all the three simulations. One interesting parameter to study for the balls simulation was the friction between the particles. Increased friction contributed to less settlement.

The maximum height of the embankment was limited to around 3,2 m due to time restraints. Simulations for higher embankments are needed to be performed in order to better understand the effect of the embankment height on settlements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Examensarbete Jord- och bergmekanik, ISSN 1652-599X ; 16:07
Keyword [en]
Slab track, unbound layer, discrete element modelling, deformation, embankment height, friction
National Category
Geotechnical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193139OAI: diva2:998696
Subject / course
Soil and Rock Mechanics
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Urban Management
Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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