Development and Implementation of Staggered BEM-FEM for the Assessment of Vibrations Induced by High Speed Trains

Funding agency: 
National Science Foundation
07/30/2008 - 00:00 to 07/31/2012 - 00:00

The research objective of this project is to formulate a systematic and efficient computational approach for computer simulations to estimate the vibrations on the train, track, free-field and nearby surface or embedded structures generated by the high speed trains. The passage of high speed trains over soft soil sites can create vibrations similar to a sonic boom with the potential to affect the train and track, and cause damage to nonstructural components in adjacent structures and annoyance to the occupants. This work couples the well established Boundary Element Method and Finite Element Method in the time domain. The approach developed here can accommodate arbitrary soil profile, track and train configurations. All system components are equally represented in sufficient detail in a fully integrated dynamic interaction model for desired levels of computational accuracy. The approach will be tested and verified on the field data.

The successful completion of this project will provide a computational tool to analyze the complex behavior of train-track-soil system and play an important role in future development of the high speed trains in the United States. The outcomes of this project could be used in future developments of design charts for rapid vibration assessment of adjacent structures caused by high speed trains, in studies evaluating effectiveness of vibration mitigation measures, in integrated cost-benefit analysis and decision making processes related to train induced vibration reduction, and to study train stability affected by the interaction between the train, track and soil. This methodology can be expanded to problems involving vibration studies on bridges due to passage of high speed trains. The findings of this project will be disseminated to practicing engineers and designers, and integrated in the existing graduate and undergraduate engineering courses to provide the students the most recent information on the state of the art of the high speed train induced vibrations and their mitigation.