The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Use of recycled tire rubber to modify track substructure interaction

TitleUse of recycled tire rubber to modify track substructure interaction
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHo CL, Humphrey D, Hyslip J, Moorhead W
JournalTransportation Resource Record
Start Page119

Resiliently bound ballast (RBB) is a new engineered material being developed as an alternative or supplement to conventional ballast for use in transit, passenger, and freight railways to improve mechanical behavior and control the modulus and damping when recycled tire waste material is used. RBB is a stable mixture of standard ballast stone and tire-derived aggregate (TDA) bound together with a purpose-designed resilient epoxy binder. Initial laboratory tests were conducted on specimens 6 in. (151 mm) and 10 in. (254 mm) in diameter of two mixes of RBB. Tests were conducted on fully bound (cemented) samples of ballast, TDA, and epoxy as well as individual particles with TDA bound to the individual ballast particles with the resilient epoxy binder. The tests included static triaxial compression tests and dynamic cyclic triaxial tests. Static tests indicated that the addition of the TDA and epoxy resulted in an increase in cohesive strength. The dynamic tests indicated changes in modulus and damping depending on the mixture of rock, TDA, and epoxy. One proposed use of RBB is to affix the RBB to the bottom of concrete ties to modify the interaction between the tie and the ballast material and improve ballast durability and modify resilience and damping. Box tests were conducted on a section of concrete tie with and without RBB attached. The tie with a section of rail attached was vertically loaded with a sinusoidal load to model repetitive axle loading. Observations indicated that the box test that used a concrete tie without RBB produced more ballast breakage compared with the test that used a concrete tie with RBB; however, more abrasion between particles occurred with the RBB-bound tie.