Coupled Multibody and Finite Element Analysis of Rail Substructure Behavior

This project will improve the coupled multibody/finite element model developed in the previous NURail project. Furthermore, the project will apply the model to examine bridge approaches as well as examine vibrations in buildings. The model improvements will include using a physical damping matrix to better represent the damping in different components of the system, notably the fasteners. The project will also couple the approach to a three-invariant visco-plastic soil plasticity model. This soil model will allow us to capture permanent settlement of the rail ballast, subballast, and subgrade. Two applications of the current model will be investigated. First, the project will apply the models to examine the track transitions, especially bridge approaches. Such transitions are well known to cause more wear and maintenance than typical track stretches. The project will also examine the potential of using an approach slab to reduce stress in the subgrade as well as the contact forces between the rail and wheel. The second application to be studied here is the effect of vibrations from passing trains on nearby buildings. The modal decomposition used in this approach is natural for examining vibrations. The magnitude of both the displacement and acceleration will be used to quantify the effects of the vibration on structures, and these quantities will be compared to building code values to assess occupant comfort or, in extreme cases, building damage.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Principal Investigators:

      Foster, Craig

    • Start Date: 20131101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20190930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01640842
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National University Rail Center (NURail)
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC52, NURail2017-UIC-R16
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Jul 10 2017 3:37PM