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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 104
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 130

Resin Recovery and the use of Computed Tomography for Quantitative Image Analysis of Railway Ballast

L. Le Pen, S. Ahmed, A. Zervos J. Harkness and W. Powrie

Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, United Kingdom

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
L. Le Pen, S. Ahmed, A. Zervos J. Harkness, W. Powrie, "Resin Recovery and the use of Computed Tomography for Quantitative Image Analysis of Railway Ballast", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 130, 2014. doi:10.4203/ccp.104.130
Keywords: fabric, structure, railway ballast, element testing, computed tomography.

Over its life cycle, railway ballast undergoes changes to its fabric structure due to train loading and maintenance (e.g. tamping). Understanding these changes and linking them quantitatively to the loading regime has the potential to inform improved designs for new track and more cost-effective maintenance of the existing network. However, a method for recovering samples of ballast from in service track with the fabric structure preserved for detailed examination is required. This paper describes the development and application of such a method using a polyurethane resin, and demonstrates the ability of powerful X-ray scanners and CT (computed tomography) techniques to construct 3D images of recovered samples up to 300 mm in diameter. It is believed that obtaining preserved samples from in-service railway track and using CT scanning on such large samples has not been done before. To demonstrate the quality and versatility of the CT images, illustrative results for CT analysis to measure the coordination number and particle orientation of the field samples obtained are also presented.

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