Authors:Mykola Sysyn, Vitalii Kovalchuk, Ulf Gerber, Olga Nabochenko, and Andriy Pentsak
Railway ballast tamping is one of the cost-expensive renewal and maintenance works of railway superstructure. The quality of ballast consolidation influences its resistance to residual deformations and long-term deterioration of track geometry. The process of ballast compaction along the sleeper under the vibration loading is complex and depends on many factors. The ballast flow processes under the vibration loading can produce both consolidation and un-consolidation of ballast material. The present study is devoted to the experimental investigation of ballast consolidation inhomogeneity. The method of ballast local consolidation measurement is proposed. The method is based on the velocity of impact wave propagation that is measured with device. The application of modern microcontroller and sensor techniques provided simple and reliable multi-point velocity measurements in a ballast layer. That enables well enough spatial resolution of ballast consolidation inhomogeneity. The measurement analysis has shown more than 4 times higher consolidation under the sleeper center than for unconsolidated ballast.