3D Finite Element Model as a Tool for Analyzing the Structural Behavior of a Railway Track
Kalliainen,Antti; Kolisoja,Pauli; Nurmikolu,Antti (2016)
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The rising public and commercial demands on railway network increases the need to improve systems that comprise the railway network. Especially in case of mixed corridors, the demands for track smoothness and load carrying capacity increase simultaneously. From this perspective, the optimization of track design creates efficiency and reduction of life-cycle costs. Hence, there is a great need for a tool which enables designing the load-carrying capacity of a railway track structure as a whole and simultaneously evaluates the stress and/or strain levels of each track component such that the life cycle of the track structure is optimized. The main focus of this study was to create a three dimensional structural model in which the stress-strain behavior of different railway track components could be evaluated realistically. The created model is based on finite element method using PLAXIS 3D software which is specialized in geotechnical problems. Differing from most of the traditional methods, which are based on a theory of linear elasticity, Finite Element Method-based approach with the chosen tool provides a non-linear solution and a three dimensional stress state. As features, the created structural model enables variation in structural layer thickness, rail size, sleeper type (wood/concrete) and material properties of rail pad, ballast, subballast layers and subgrade.
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