Student | Chuhao Liu | Materials and Manufacturing - RMCRC
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Student | Chuhao Liu | Materials and Manufacturing

PhD students

Chuhao Liu

University of Wollongong (Supervisor: Buddhima Indraratna)

PhD topic – The performance of stabilised ballast in rail tracks

Chuhao Liu

Research summary

By investigating materials used to strengthen and extend the life of the rail ballast trackbed, this research has the potential to substantially reduce track degradation and provide reinforcement to the ground. This project is examining the potential use of geogrids to control the vibration and degradation of the rail ballast. To assess the effectiveness, the geogrid materials will be tested under intensive cyclic loads by mimicking a typical track substructure. A mathematical model will be developed to analyse the interaction between ballast particles and geogrids, therefore optimising the industry manufacturing standards.

Expected completion date

October 2020

Key achievements

  • A set of large-scale direct shear tests and two large-scale cyclic loading tests have been conducted to test geogrid-reinforced ballast. The correlation between aperture size of geogrids and reinforcing effect has been identified from test data.
  • An analytical model has been successfully developed to quantify the interaction effect between particles and geogrids. This model shows a good ability to predict the geogrids reinforcement effects based on the aperture size of geogrids. It’s promising to serve as an industry guidance of geogrids manufacturing in the future.
  • Winner of Cooperative Research Centre Association’s Early Researchers Showcase Competition (2018).
  • Semi-Finalist of Asia-Pacific 3 Minute Thesis Competition (2018); Finalist of AusRAIL Young Professionals Pitching Competition (2019); Finalist of TEDx Sydney Kick Start Competition (2019).