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Design and construction of a reduced scale model for a railroad ballast test reinforced with geogrid

Railroads hold an important role for the economy, especially in terms of the flow of products from the most central regions of a country to the Ports. In recent years, there has been an increase in the practiced speed and transported loads, resulting on a faster degradation of the roads and the need for more frequent maintenance. Thereof, the search for technologies that provides the improvement of the road condition and extend their service life has become necessary. The use of geosynthetics at the railway infrastructure is getting more known, due to the diversity of functions that they are able to perform, improving road drainage, acting as a mechanical reinforcement and also containing fine grains. The ballast compaction process and the use of the railroad throughout time, induce zones of materials with a different degree of compaction, which causes deformations of different amplitude. The insertion of a geogrid inside the ballast or sub-ballast layer provides for a stress redistribution, minimizing the possible differential settlements that may appear in the road. This paper aims to present in particular, the design and construction of a reduced railroad model to simulate a geogrid-reinforced ballast.