Full Text:   <3586>

CLC number: TU4

On-line Access: 2013-04-03

Received: 2012-12-07

Revision Accepted: 2013-03-05

Crosschecked: 2013-03-13

Cited: 20

Clicked: 7843

Citations:  Bibtex RefMan EndNote GB/T7714

-   Go to

Article info.
Open peer comments

Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A 2013 Vol.14 No.4 P.244-255


Investigation of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of fouled ballast*

Author(s):  Yu-jun Cui1, Trong Vinh Duong1, Anh Minh Tang1, Jean-Claude Dupla1, Nicolas Calon2, Alain Robinet2

Affiliation(s):  1. Laboratoire Navier/CERMES, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Blaise Pascal, Cit Descartes, Champs-sur-Marne 77455 Marne-la-Valle Cedex-France; more

Corresponding email(s):   yujun.cui@enpc.fr

Key Words:  Fouled ballast, Degree of saturation, Hydraulic behaviour, Mechanical behaviour, Fines content, Constitutive modelling

Yu-jun Cui, Trong Vinh Duong, Anh Minh Tang, Jean-Claude Dupla, Nicolas Calon, Alain Robinet. Investigation of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of fouled ballast[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science A, 2013, 14(4): 244-255.

@article{title="Investigation of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of fouled ballast",
author="Yu-jun Cui, Trong Vinh Duong, Anh Minh Tang, Jean-Claude Dupla, Nicolas Calon, Alain Robinet",
journal="Journal of Zhejiang University Science A",
publisher="Zhejiang University Press & Springer",

%0 Journal Article
%T Investigation of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of fouled ballast
%A Yu-jun Cui
%A Trong Vinh Duong
%A Anh Minh Tang
%A Jean-Claude Dupla
%A Nicolas Calon
%A Alain Robinet
%J Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A
%V 14
%N 4
%P 244-255
%@ 1673-565X
%D 2013
%I Zhejiang University Press & Springer
%DOI 10.1631/jzus.A1200337

T1 - Investigation of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of fouled ballast
A1 - Yu-jun Cui
A1 - Trong Vinh Duong
A1 - Anh Minh Tang
A1 - Jean-Claude Dupla
A1 - Nicolas Calon
A1 - Alain Robinet
J0 - Journal of Zhejiang University Science A
VL - 14
IS - 4
SP - 244
EP - 255
%@ 1673-565X
Y1 - 2013
PB - Zhejiang University Press & Springer
ER -
DOI - 10.1631/jzus.A1200337

In this study, a fouled ballast taken from the site of Sénissiat, France, was investigated. For the hydraulic behaviour, a large-scale cell was developed allowing drainage and evaporation tests to be carried out with monitoring of both suction and volumetric water content at various positions of the sample. It was observed that the hydraulic conductivity of fouled ballast is decreasing with suction increase, as for common unsaturated soils. The effect of fines content was found to be negligible. For the mechanical behaviour, both monotonic and cyclic triaxial tests were carried out using a large-scale triaxial cell. Various water contents were considered. The results were interpreted in terms of shear strength and permanent axial strain. It appeared that the water content is an important factor to be accounted for since any increase of water content or degree of saturation significantly decreases the shear strength and increases the permanent strain. constitutive modelling has been attempted based on the experimental results. The model in its current state is capable of describing the effects of stress level, cycle number and water content.

Darkslateblue:Affiliate; Royal Blue:Author; Turquoise:Article


[1] AFNOR, 2004. EN 13286-7Unbound and Hydraulically Bound MixturesPart 7: Cyclic Load Triaxial Test for Unbound Mixtures, :

[2] Anderson, W.F., Fair, P., 2008. Behavior of railroad ballast under monotonic and cyclic loading. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 134(3):316-327. 

[3] Barksdale, R.D., 1972. Laboratory Evaluation of Rutting in Base Course Materials. , Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Structural Design of Asphalt Pavement,3:161-174. 

[4] Brooks, R.H., Corey, A.T., 1964.  Hydraulic Properties of Porous Media. Hydrology Papers, No. 3. Colorado State University,Fort Collins, Colorado :

[5] Brown, S.F., 1974. Repeated load testing of a granular material. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 100(7):825-841. 

[6] Bruckler, L.B., Angulo-Jaramillo, P., Ruy, R., 2002. Testing an infiltration method for estimating soil hydraulic properties in the laboratory. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 66(2):384-395. 

[7] Chapuis, R.P., Masse, I., Madinier, B., 2006. Essai de Drainage en Colonne Pour Obtenir les Propriétés non Saturées de Matériaux Grossiers. , Sea to Sky Geotechnique59th Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Vancouver, Canada, 905-912. :905-912. 

[8] Cui, Y.J., Tang, A.M., Marcial, D., Terpereau, J.M., Marchadier, G., Boulay, X., 2007. Use of a differential pressure transducer for the monitoring of soil volume change in cyclic triaxial test on unsaturated soils. Geotechnical Testing Journal, 30(3):227-233. 

[9] Cui, Y.J., Tang, A.M., Loiseau, C., Delage, P., 2008. Determining the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of a compacted sand-bentonite mixture under constant-volume and free-swell conditions. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth Parts A/B/C, 33:S462-S471. 

[10] Daniel, D.E., 1982. Measurement of hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soils with thermocouple psychrometers. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 46(6):1125-1129. 

[11] Delage, P., Cui, Y.J., 2001. Comportement Mcanique des Sols non Saturs. Article C302, Ed, (in French), Techniques Ingnieur,:

[12] Duong, T.V., Trinh, V.N., Cui, Y.J., Tang, A.M., Calon, N., 2013. Development of a large-scale infiltration column for studying the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated fouled ballast. Geotechnical Testing Journal, 36(1):1-10. 

[13] Dupla, J.C., Pedro, L.S., Canou, J., Dormieux, L., 2007. Mechanical behaviour of coarse grained soils reference. Bulletin de Liaison des Laboratoires des Ponts et Chausses, (N1),268-269:1-58(N1):1-58. 

[14] Ekblad, J., 2006. Influence of water on coarse granular road material properties. Road Materials and Pavement Design, 7(3):369-404. 

[15] Ekblad, J., 2008. Statistical evaluation of resilient models characterizing coarse granular materials. Materials and Structures, 41(3):509-525. 

[16] Gidel, G., Hornych, P., Chauvin, J.J., Breysse, D., Denis, A., 2001. A new approach for investigating the permanent deformation behaviour of unbound granular material using the repeated load triaxial apparatus. Bulletin de Liaison des Laboratoires des Ponts et Chausses, 233:5-21. 

[17] Gidel, G., Breysse, D., Denis, A., 2002. Influence de l’état hydrique et des sollicitations routières sur l’évolution du comportement des graves non traitées calcaires utilisées en assise de chaussée. Revue Franaise de Gnie Civil, (in French),6(5):789-799. 

[18] Hornych, P., Cort, J.F., Paute, J.L., 1993. Etude des déformations permanents sous chargements répétés de trois graves non traitées. Bulletin de Liaison des Laboratoires des Ponts et Chausses, (in French),184:77-84. 

[19] Indraratna, B., Ionescu, D., Christie, H.D., 1998. Shear behavior of railway ballast based on large-scale triaxial tests. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 124(5):439-449. 

[20] Indraratna, B., Salim, W., Rujikiatkamjorn, C., 2011. Advanced Rail Geotechnology-Ballasted Track, CRC Press,:

[21] Kalcheff, I.V., Hicks, R.G., 1973. Test procedure for determining the resilient properties of granular materials. Journal of Testing and Evaluation, 1(6):472-479. 

[22] Karam, J.P., Cui, Y.J., Tang, A.M., Terpereau, J.M., Marchadier, G., 2009. Experimental study on the cyclic resistance of a natural loess from Northern France. Soils and Foundations, 49(3):421-429. 

[23] Lackenby, J., Indraratna, B., McDowell, G., Christie, D., 2007. Effect of confining pressure on ballast degradation and deformation under cyclic triaxial loading. Geotechnique, 57(6):527-536. 

[24] Lekarp, F., Dawson, A., 1998. Modelling permanent deformation behaviour of unbound granular materials. Construction and Building Materials, 12(1):9-18. 

[25] Li, D., Selig, E.T., 1994. Resilient modulus for fines-grained subgrade soils. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 120(6):939-957. 

[26] Malla, R.B., Joshi, S., 2008. Subgrade resilient modulus prediction models for coarse and fines-grained soils based on long-term pavement performance data. International Journal of Pavement Engineering, 9(6):431-444. 

[27] Munoz-Castelblanco, J.A., Pereira, J.M., Delage, P., Cui, Y.J., 2011. The water retention properties of a natural unsaturated loess from Northern France. Gotechnique, 62(2):95-106. 

[28] Munoz-castelblanco, J.A., Pereira, J.M., Delage, P., Cui, Y.J., 2012. The influence of changes in water content on the electrical resistivity of a natural unsaturated loess. Geotechnical Testing Journal, 35(1):11-17. 

[29] Munoz-Castelblanco, J.A., Delage, P., Pereira, J.M., Cui, Y.J., 2012. On-sample water content measurement for a complete local monitoring in triaxial testing of unsaturated soils. Geotechnique, 62(7):595-604. 

[30] Paute, J.L., Jouve, P., Martinez, J., Ragneau, E., 1988. Modèle de calcul pour le dimensionnement des chaussées souples. Bulletin de Liaison des Laboratoires des Ponts et Chausses, (in French),156:21-36. 

[31] Prez, I., Romana, M.G., Medina, L., 2006. Influence of Stress Levels on the Development of Permanent Deformation in Unbound Granular Materials. , Pavement Mechanics and Performance: Proceedings of Sessions of GeoShanghai, Shanghai, China, 180-188. :180-188. 

[32] Raymond, G.P., Williams, D.R., 1978. Repeated load triaxial tests on dolomite ballast. Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 104(7):1013-1029. 

[33] Raymond, G.P., Bathurst, R.J., 1994. Repeated-load response of aggregates in relation to track quality index. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 31(4):547-554. 

[34] Selig, E.T., Water, J.M., 1994.  Track Geotechnology and Substructure Management. Thomas Telford,London :

[35] Shenton, M.J., 1974.  Deformation of Railway Ballast under Repeated Loading Triaxial Tests. Soil Mechanics Section. British Railways Research Department,Derby, England :

[36] SNCF, 2009. Sollicitations Mécaniques Dans la Plate-forme. Mesures D’accélérations Verticales Dans la Plate-forme. Internal Technical Report R2520-2009-01, (in French),:

[37] Stewart, H.E., 1986. Permanent strain from cyclic variable-amplitude loadings. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 112(6):646-660. 

[38] Suiker, A.S.J., Selig, E.T., Frenkel, R., 2005. Static and cyclic triaxial testing of ballast and subballast. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 131(6):771-782. 

[39] Sweere, G.T.H., 1990.  Unbound Granular Bases for Roads. PhD Thesis, Delft University,the Netherlands :

[40] Tang, A.M., Cui, Y.J., Trinh, V.N., Szerman, Y., Marchadier, G., 2009. Analysis of the railway heave induced by soil swelling at a site in southern France. Engineering Geology, 106(1-2):68-77. 

[41] Trani, L.D.O., Indraratna, B., 2010. Assessment of subballast filtration under cyclic loading. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 136(11):1519-1527. 

[42] Trinh, V.N., Tang, A.M., Cui, Y.J., Dupla, J.C., Canou, J., Calon, N., Lambert, L., Robinet, A., Schoen, O., 2011. Caractérisation des matériaux constitutifs de plate-forme ferroviaire ancienne. Revue Franaise de Gotechnique, (in French),134-135:64-75. 

[43] Trinh, V.N., Tang, A.M., Cui, Y.J., Dupla, J.C., Canou, J., Calon, N., Lambert, L., Robinet, A., Schoen, O., 2012. Mechanical characterisation of the fouled ballast in ancient railway track substructure by large-scale triaxial tests. Soils and Foundations, 52(3):511-523. 

[44] van Genuchten, M.T., 1980. A closed-form equation for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 44(5):892-898. 

[45] Werkmeister, S., Numrich, R., Dawson, A.R., Wellner, F., 2003. Design of granular pavement layers considering climatic conditions. Transportation Research Record, 1837(1):61-70. 

[46] Wind, G.P., 1966. Capillary Conductivity Data Estimated by a Simple Method. , Proceedings of the Wageningen Symposium, Wageningen, the Netherlands, 181-191. :181-191. 

[47] Wolff, H., Visser, A.T., 1994. Incorporating elasto-plasticity in granular layer pavement design. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Transport, 105(4):259-272. 

[48] Yang, C., Cui, Y.J., Pereira, J.M., Huang, M.S., 2008. A constitutive model for unsaturated cemented soils under cyclic loading. Computer and Geotechnics, 35(6):853-859. 

[49] Ye, W.M., Cui, Y.J., Qian, L.X., Chen, B., 2009. An experimental study of the water transfer through compacted GMZ bentonite. Engineering Geology, 108(3-4):169-176. 

Open peer comments: Debate/Discuss/Question/Opinion


Please provide your name, email address and a comment

Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE, 38 Zheda Road, Hangzhou 310027, China
Tel: +86-571-87952783; E-mail: cjzhang@zju.edu.cn
Copyright © 2000 - 2024 Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE