Railway prestressed concrete sleepers are required to resist repetitive impact stress waves from dynamic interactions between the rail vehicle and track infrastructure in services. The magnitude of the shock load relies on various factors such as axle load, types of wheel/rail imperfections, speeds of vehicle, track stiffness, etc. This paper demonstrates the application and development of finite element modelling to predict the dynamic responses of prestressed concrete sleepers, particularly under a variety of controlled low-velocity, drop-weight impact loads. The numerical model of prestressed concrete sleeper has been developed using a finite element package, LS-Dyna. It has been verified by the experiment carried out using the high capacity drop-weight impact machine at the University of Wollongong. In the validation experiment, the accelerometers were installed along the top surface of the tested sleeper. The low-velocity impact loading was generated by the drop weight impact machine with the varied drop heights from 100 to 500 mm. The drop mass used in these experiments was 5.81 kN. The results, which are the acceleration responses captured by the device in the loading range of 300 to 600 kN, are discussed herein. The experimental results provide very good correlation with numerical simulations. In addition, the numerical studies on the influential parameters of railway track environment are highlighted.
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