Freeze-thaw damage is a typical distress incurred in road and railway engineering in cold regions. Concrete waterproofing layer is commonly used in high-speed railway tracks to prevent the penetration of surface water, however, it cracks easily under thermal stress, especially in cold regions. Recently solutions have been proposed to increase the waterproofing layer’s cracking resistance by using asphalt layers. Nonetheless, the use of emulsified asphalt as well as dense-graded asphalt mixture were not effective enough. To improve the effectiveness, in this study, mastic asphalt was designed for application as the waterproofing layer on the subgrade surface of high-speed railway tracks in cold regions. The overall performance of mastic asphalt was preliminarily evaluated by laboratory tests, then a 200-m test section was constructed for field validation in northeastern China as part of a new high-speed railway line, and water content sensors were placed inside the subgrade to monitor the performance of the mastic asphalt waterproofing layer (MAWL). The subsequent field investigation and monitoring data during the two years operation showed that MAWL dramatically outperformed the conventional concrete waterproofing layer in terms of waterproof performance. Plenty of serious cracks were found in the conventional concrete waterproofing layer, but only a limited number of local cracks were observed in MAWL. As a result, MAWL keeps the water content of subgrade at a stable level. In addition, MAWL showed relatively high stability during the two years investigation period, and no obvious deterioration was observed in the test section.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited