Stiffness and strength of structural layers from cohesionless material


  • Ulf GERBER Technical University of Dresden, Institute of Railway Systems and Public Transport, Dresden, Germany Author
  • Mykola SYSYN Technical University of Dresden, Institute of Railway Systems and Public Transport, Dresden, Germany Author
  • Jandab ZAROUR Technical University of Dresden, Institute of Railway Systems and Public Transport, Dresden, Germany Author
  • Olga NABOCHENKO Lviv branch of Dnipropetrovsk National University of Railway Transport, Department of the rolling stock and track, Lviv, Ukraine Author



ballast layer, crushed stone, deformation modulus, strength, carrying capacity


The deformation modulus and permissible stress are two independent parameters that depict the carrying capacity of foundations, including earthworks and ballast layer. Nevertheless, while designing the track superstructure or controlling its state, they are considered separate to each other, even though they are terms of the same measure. The scientific problem is due to the practical necessity of unified building rules and standards. The carrying capacity of earthworks and foundations is regulated with standards based both on deformation and on stress criteria, which are not related to each other. This plays particularly important role for railway ballast layer, as an intermediate between the solids and soil. The objective of the present research is to estimate the relationship between deformation modulus and the strength of ballast layer. An overview of modern approaches according to the relation between the stiffness, deformation modulus, elasticity and strength of soils and crushed stone is done. The strength of ballast layer is considered depending on the experimental test: the direct shear test, compressive strength in the uniaxial or biaxial stress state. Load transfer model in crushed stone is proposed. The load transfer angle and cone of loading distribution are determined based on the load transfer and compressive strength models. The relation between deformation modulus and strength is derived from two simple laboratory experiments with cohesionless ballast material. The experiment tests have shown that the ballast stiffness as well as its strength are influenced with the support stress. The measurement of elastic and residual settlements for the different support stress values enables to determine the relation. It can be potentially used for the development of methods for the ballast compaction control, unification of construction norms. The research result should be considered as an approach for unification of two different ways to reflect the carrying capacity of ballast layer.


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Original articles

How to Cite

GERBER, U., SYSYN, M., ZAROUR, J., & NABOCHENKO, O. (2019). Stiffness and strength of structural layers from cohesionless material. Archives of Transport, 49(1), 59-68.


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