Materiales de Construcción, Vol 66, No 324 (2016)

Analysis of the bearing capacity of unbound granular mixtures with rubber particles from scrap tyres when used as sub-ballast

C. Hidalgo-Signes
Department of Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Spain

P. Martínez-Fernández
Department of Transport Engineering and Infrastructure, Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Spain

J. Garzón-Roca
Department of Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Spain

R. Insa-Franco
Department of Transport Engineering and Infrastructure, Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Spain


Scrap tyres are a problematic waste material. As a method for recycling large quantities of rubber from scrap tyres, this paper analyses the use of unbound granular mixtures with varying percentages of rubber particles as sub-ballast in railway lines. Bearing capacity for such mixtures is studied in laboratory and field tests using static and dynamic plate load tests, as well as cyclic triaxial tests. It is found that adding rubber increases permanent and resilient strain and that none of the mixtures suffer plastic creep after 2.5 million cycles. Considering the usual bearing capacity requirements, the optimum rubber content is 2.5% (by weight). This percentage increases resistance to degradation while ensuring sufficient bearing capacity.


Waste treatment; Aggregate; Modulus of Elasticity; Cycles; Mechanical properties

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