Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Jerry G. Rose

Abstract

The KENTRACK program is a finite element based railway trackbed structural design program that can be utilized to analyze trackbeds having various combinations of all-granular and asphalt-bound layered support. It is applicable for calculating compressive stresses at the top of subgrade, indicative of potential long-term trackbed settlement failure. Furthermore, for trackbeds containing asphalt layer, it is applicable for calculating tensile strains at the bottom of the asphalt layer, indicative of potential fatigue cracking. The program was recently expanded to include both English and international units. A procedure has been incorporated to provide a path to save results in a text formation in post-Windows XP operating systems. More importantly, properties of performance graded (PG) asphalt binders and the Witczak E* predictive model have been incorporated in the 4.0 Version of the program. Component layers of typical trackbed support systems are analyzed while predicting the significance of layer thicknesses and material properties on design and performance. The effect of various material parameters and loading magnitudes on trackbed design and evaluation, as determined and predicted by the computer program, are presented. Variances in subgrade modulus and axle loads and the incorporation of a layer of asphalt within the track structure have significant effects on subgrade vertical compressive stresses and predicted trackbed service lives. The parameter assessments are presented and evaluated using sensitivity analysis. Recommendations for future research are suggested.

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