Permeability and Direct Shear Tests Characteristics of Railway Subballast

Guoqing Jing1, Zijie Wang1, Hongmei Huang1, Yan Wang*, 2
1 School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, P.R. China
2 School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, 310018, P.R. China

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© 2015 Jing et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Permeability, filtration and shearing strength were widely considered to be the key properties in evaluating the performance of railway subballast. An investigation on these key properties of railway subballast was presented in this paper. A constant head permeability test and a middle scale direct shear test of railway subballast were conducted in the research, aiming to investigate the subballast permeability and shear direct tests characteristics. Four different designed gradations within the standards were subjected to the investigation in order to study the particle size distribution effect on permeability performance of subballast. Lab results showed that drainage capacity and shearing strength of subballast highly correlated with each other. Subballast with more large-size particles and a low coefficient of uniformity were proved to acquire good drainage of water and strong resistance ability to shear.

Keywords: Drainage , particle size distribution, permeability test, subballast.