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Archives of Civil Engineering

The Journal of Polish Academy of Sciences

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Volume 59, Issue 4

A New High-Efficiency Procedure for Aggregate Gradation Determination of the Railway Ballast by Means Image Recognition Method

M. Guerrieri
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Enna “Kore” and Adjunct Professor at University of Palermo, Italy, Via della Cooperazione, Enna Bassa 94100, Enna, Italy, Tel: 39-935-536-350
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/ G. Parla
Published Online: 2013-12-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ace-2013-0025


The mechanical characteristics of the railway superstructure are related to the properties of the ballast, and especially to the particle size distribution of its grains. Under the constant stress-strain of carriages, the ballast can deteriorate over time, and consequently it should properly be monitored for safety reasons. The equipment which currently monitors the railway superstructure (like the Italian diagnostic train Archimede) do not make any “quantitative” evaluation of the ballast. The aim of this paper is therefore to propose a new methodology for extracting railway ballast particle size distribution by means of the image processing technique. The procedure has been tested on a regularly operating Italian railway line and the results have been compared with those obtained from laboratory experiments, thus assessing how effective is the methodology which could potentially be implemented also in diagnostic trains in the near future.

Keywords: Railway ballast; Image analysis; Segmentation techniques; Aggregate gradation


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About the article

Received: 2013-08-24

Revised: 2013-11-20

Published Online: 2013-12-13

Published in Print: 2013-12-01

Citation Information: Archives of Civil Engineering, Volume 59, Issue 4, Pages 469–482, ISSN (Online) 1230-2945, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ace-2013-0025.

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© Polish Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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