Reports on the development of a self-contained computational algorithm for predicting lateral buckling in rails that is based on the large deformation Euler-Bernoulli beam theory cast within the finite element method. A significant feature of the model is the ability to account for the degradation of material properties within the track structure that result from cyclic loading and environmental conditions. Towards this end, the researchers have developed a model for predicting the coefficient of friction between the crossties and ballast as a function of loading history. The current research points to a new arena in track structure testing that will improve the safety and reliability of rail infrastructure systems, as well as improve the efficiency of maintenance operations. It is anticipated that the model under development will become available for calibration, validation and verification in the near future. Because the new algorithm is self-contained, it can be deployed without recourse to expensive commercial software.
Railway Track & Structures, Apr. 2017. pp.10-12.