A Research Seminar (ONLINE) on "Use of Recycled Rubber in the Construction of Rail Tracks " by Dr. S. K. Navaratnarajah will be held on 02nd June 2021, from 2.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m.
Increasing demand for high-speed rail and heavier
freight transport is posing a huge challenge for railway transport
authorities in many countries including Sri Lanka. The rapid growth
in population, urbanization, as well as increasing congestion in
highway transport and growing demand for energy (e.g., fuel) are
forcing the railway authorities to improve the rail track transport
system. The implementation of faster passenger trains and heavy
haul freight networks is inevitable but causes large undue pressure
on the track structure, excessive track layer settlement, and material
degradation which ultimately leads to frequent derailments and accidents
and costly maintenance. Therefore, the adoption of improved techniques
in rail track structures is imperative for the sustainable development
of modern track infrastructure. In order to improve track performance,
artificial inclusions such as resilient rubber elements can be beneficial.
This study focused on a comprehensive assessment of the geotechnical
characteristics of tracks stabilized with rubber elements and the
associated response of tracks under static and cyclic loading by
large-scale laboratory testing and numerical simulation.
The laboratory and numerical analysis showed that the rubber elements distribute the loading from moving trains more uniformly by increasing the effective contact area, which also contributes to the reduction in pressure and track degradation. A substantial reduction in track damage and extended track longevity would embrace blatant ‘green’ implications (i.e. less quarrying raw materials and environmental degradation) while accruing substantial annual savings to the rail asset owners. Some of the rubber elements used in this study were manufactured from the recycled shredded tyre. In terms of national benefits, manufacturing these rubber mats from recycled rubber tyres would reduce their volume at spoil tips and contribute to more effective land use, especially in expensive urban suburbs.