Application of AFRP Bars in Railroad Concrete
Aramid Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (AFRP) composite tendons, due to their non-corrosive nature, have been recently adopted for use instead of steel rebars and/or tendons in concrete structures where the corrosion-induced deterioration is of prime concern for serviceability such as bridge decks, parking garages, and marine structures. The main goal of this proposed research is to investigate the structural performance of concrete ties prestressed with AFRP bars.
Ultrasonic Tomography for Inspection of Timber Beams and Ties
The occurrence of damage and deterioration in railroad timber beams and ties can lead to failure of the components and, in the worst case, derailment of the train. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, wide gages due to defective/missing crossties accounted for the highest percentage (17.1%) of all railway accidents in the US from 2008-2011 (FRA, 2011). It is therefore crucial to detect damage at an early stage so that, by taking appropriate measures, failure can be prevented. This proposed research investigates and develops an inspection system for timber beams and ties by using ultrasonic tomography.
Ultrasonic Tomography for Infrastructure Inspection
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, wide gages due to defective/missing crossties accounted for the highest percentage (17.1%) of all railway accidents in the US from 2008-2011 (FRA, 2011). It is therefore crucial to detect damage at an early stage so that, by taking appropriate measures, failure can be prevented. The proposed project will examine the use of Ultrasonic Tomography (UST) to examine the interior of wooden beams and crossties as well as railroad tunnel linings on-site.
Rails on Shrink Swell Soils
Shrink/swell soils fall in the category of problematic soils. Variations in the moisture content of those soils are accompanied by significant volume changes. Railways in shrink/swell soils (identified also as expansive soils) are subjected to huge solicitations associated with the soil volume change, leading (generally) to unacceptable uneven settlements. Uneven settlements affect both: operational costs and safety. This project is aimed at documenting the extent of the problem and exploring traditional and recent geotechnical techniques to deal with shrink/swell soils.
High Speed Train Geotechnics
California is planning a high speed train (HST) to link Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento. The first design-build contract for this project has been awarded. This is a proposal for Texas A&M University and the Center for Railroad Safety to help the project team by sponsoring a graduate student for one year to investigate issues relevant to the safety concerns.