You are here:

Electronics/Track Ballast - Alternative Materials.



Which could be the alternative materials which can be used / tried out instead of Ballast or crushing stones ?. viz Cement, plaster of Paris, sand, metal, non metals etc for railway tracks ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: This is not an electronics question!  I should not answer it so as not to violate the agreement with Allexperts adminstrators!

The materials that I am familiar with - but not as infrastructure for railroad ties - is perlite and vermiculite.  These materials are very abundant and low in cost.  Whether they have the qualities to act as a good ballast for railroad ties I know not.  Maybe worth your further investigation and further study.

Their is a perlite organization that keeps lots of information about its use and market development and I think you will find it easily with a google search.  I once attended their annual meeting held in London a few years ago and found the principles to be well informed professionals and willing to assist in new market applications.

Perlite is a product of ancient and modern volcanic action and these materials can literally be swept off the ground and hauled away for processing.  I think it is cheaper than rock chips that are now being used as ballast materials.

The problem with perlite may be its load baring capacity.  

Good Luck.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thank you.

If we create a Word document with four columns viz. Material, Advantage, Disadvantage and Conclusion, will this be a good reference for Materials evaluation as a alternative to Crushing stones ?.

The Train should run more efficiently on the railway tracks with the New Material installed viz Cement, Sand, Plaster of Paris, Coal, Metal, Non Metal etc instead of the crushing stones. Maintenance also has to be taken into picture for replacing the material if wear out.

I also feel Rutherford's periodic table could be a useful reference.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Well, the chemical periodic table may be useful for referencing basic materials but mostly the materials used in ballasting operations may be complex and compound materials not suitable for such easy reference and basic molecules.

In any event, this field is far removed from the area of electronics and I have no expert opinion to offer further on this subject.

Wishing you the best.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Electronics questions about AC, DC and digital theory.


Graduate electrical engineer with over 40 years in electronic design, manufacturing, project organization and patent review. Experience in fields of industrial and consumer electronics (audio, video, acoustics, etc.)

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers); Senior Life member AES (Audio Engineering Society), Fellow Life member

BSEE University of North Dakota

©2017 All rights reserved.