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Approche expérimentale et numérique du comportement du ballast des voies ferrées

Abstract : Despite the major importance of ballast for the quality of the railway track, the ballast behaviour is still not completely understood. The purpose of this report is to describe the identification process of a settlement law of ballast and of a degradation model of the ballasted track. This report proposes a test at reduced scale (1/3), which is used to establish a settlement law of ballast in the vertical plane. To this end, similitude laws have been defined in order to describe the relation between the sizes of the real-size model and the ones characterising the reduced model. These laws are based on the material conservation - ballast - and the stress fields conservation within the specimen. The ballast specimen is submitted to a vertical loading that simulates the kind of loading applied when a TGV bogie runs on a regular track. Results of this test are used to design the settlement law of ballast that links settlement with the elastic deflection of the ballast/ground couple. Parameters that are involved in the loading, such as the quality of the ground under the ballast and the thickness of the ballast layer, are also studied. In order to complement experimental results, a numerical simulation has then been carried out. As opposed to the experiment, which is limited to a sleeper, the numerical simulation is applied to a larger portion of track. The objective is to study the evolution of track defects versus traffic. These defects may be either geometrical (due to levelling irregularities during the track set up) or linked to stiffness variations of both the ballast and the ground. Thus, a model of a running vehicle has been developed in order to calculate dynamic stresses applied on rail. These stresses are then introduced in a quasi-static model of the track which takes into account results of the ballast behaviour obtained with the experiment. Calculations of the evolution of track profiles show clearly that stiffness defects of ballast and ground cause more damage for the track than geometrical defects. This report ends with a micro-mechanical analysis of ballast. For this purpose, the ballast is considered as an assembling of rigid, discreet and tridimensional bodies. This last study shows the possibility of modelling, in a discreet way, the unilateral behaviour of ballast. The numerical model brings out results that are really close to the ones obtained through experiment.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 25, 2010 - 3:02:52 PM
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Nathalie Guerin. Approche expérimentale et numérique du comportement du ballast des voies ferrées. Matériaux. Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, 1996. Français. ⟨tel-00529384⟩



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