Volume 46, N. 3

July-September 2023

Ballast with siderurgic aggregates: variation analysis of the shape parameters of particles submitted to triaxial tests through 3D scanner


Volume 46, N. 3, July-September 2023 | PAPER (22 downloads)


Across countries, associations and institutions publish technical standards for railway ballast, however it is observed that those norms have differences when compared to each other. Each one of them has its particularity, varying according to the stone materials available in their countries, axle load and climate. In that sense, it is still a challenge to establish specific guidelines for the properties of the ballast layer. Recently, several techniques for acquisition, image analysis and particle scanning have been developed, either in 2D or in 3D. Those techniques vary from the use of pachymeter to the use of sophisticated scanners. This research seeks to evaluate, through laboratory tests, the evolution of the particle shape parameters through 3D scanning and the level of degradation of the steel slag when subjected to stresses close to those experienced in freight transport railways. Based on the performed tests and the obtained results, the authors recommend for a railway pavement subjected to a load of 32.5 t/axle and composed of steel aggregates used as ballast, a granulometric distribution with uniformity coefficient 1.5 ≤ Cu ≤ 1.6 (AREMA n. 4) and particles with: 0.625 ≤ Elongation ≤ 0.999, 0.567 ≤ Flatness ≤ 0.995, 0.475 ≤ Aspect ≤ 0.969 and 0.825 ≤ Ellipsoidness ≤ 0.957. These specifications enable a good performance of the ballast layer. In addition, the results found contribute to the understanding of siderurgic aggregate behavior under cyclic loading conditions.

Keywords: Elipsoidness ratio, Rail ballast material, Railway pavement, 3D scan, Repeat load triaxial test,

Submitted on June 09, 2022.
Final Acceptance on June 12, 2023.
Discussion open until November 30, 2023.
DOI: 10.28927/SR.2023.006122