Paper presented at the 31st Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2012 "Getting Southern Africa to Work", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
The fundamental measurements of railway ballast shape characteristics are essential for good quality control and, ultimately, for understanding their influence on performance of the track structure. Flakiness, roundness and sphericity are important shape parameters to quantify ballast shape properties. It is well known that the current test methods for determining the shape properties of railway ballast have some limitations; they are laborious and subjective, which could lead to poor repeatability of test results. This paper presents the use of laser scanning technique to quantify the shape properties of railway ballast. The objective is to establish the concept of using three-dimensional laser scanning technique to directly obtain the shape properties of ballast particles. The study demonstrated that an advanced automated technique such as laser scanning method could be explored to accurately quantify the shape properties of railway ballast.
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