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Title: Non-destructive and geotechnical testing of railway track bed ballast
Author: Clark, Max
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis examines two techniques to identify the condition of rail track ballast: ground penetrating radar (GPR) and infra-red thermography. Basic work was undertaken on ballast durability using the slake durability test. Laboratory work using (GPR) was undertaken and the dielectric properties of rail track bed ballast were evaluated, using clean and spent ballast with various moisture contents. This was the first study of its kind. These results were examined and verified on a prototype track bed at The University of Edinburgh, where the conditions were known. This showed that GPR could be used to characterise the composition of in-situ railway track bed ballast. GPR was then used in a full-scale working track situation and different areas of clean and spent ballast successfully identified. Similar laboratory work was also undertaken using infrared thermography on samples of clean and spend ballast. It was found that clean and spent ballast changed temperature at different rates. Which agreed with theoretical models. The work undertaken on the prototype track bed and the full-scale working track confirmed these findings. Also the areas of clean and spent ballast identified with GPR were confirmed with infra-red thermography. This research has shown that GPR and infra-red thermography are appropriate techniques to obtain the characteristics of the composition of railway track bed ballast.  Both techniques found the same anomaly on the full-scale working track: a patch of spent ballast within an area of clean ballast. These techniques are faster and more cost effective than current methods of ballast investigation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available