Technical Reports

State-of-the-Art Assessment of Guideway Systems for Maglev Applications

  • 01
  • Oct
  • 1992
AUTHOR: GangaRao, Barbero, Chen, Davalos, Eck, Halabe, Klinkhachorn, Raju, Spyrakos
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/NMI-92/17
SUBJECT: Maglev
KEYWORDS: Steel, Concrete, Hybrid Composite Material, Design Loads, Construction, Modularization, Nondestructive Testing, Economic Evaluation
ABSTRACT: The engineering, environmental, diagnostic, and economic feasibility of Maglev guideway systems are assessed with an emphasis on composite materials as directed by Congress. This study further examines the performance and the cost of existing and innovative guideway systems that are applicable to Maglev and other mass transit guideways. Utilizing parameters such as strength, stiffness, and ease of construction and maintenance, sixteen conceptual systems are developed for preliminary studies and seven are finalized for an in-depth study. These seven systems are as follows: 1) trapezoidal concrete box with steel; 2) trapezoidal concrete box with fiber reinforced plastics (FRP); 3) rectangular concrete box; 4) all steel; 5) hybrid-system with concrete decking stiffened by steel truss; 6) hybrid-system with concrete decldng stiffened by FRP truss; 7) all FRP box system. After establishing ten different load conditions and several serviceability criteria, the above systems have been evaluated for their applicability as Maglev guideway superstructures spanning 24.4 to 30.48 m (80 to 100 feet). Technical issues such as electromagnetic drag forces, sectional efficiency, feasibility of manufacturing, mass production, maintainability of system, and others have been studied along with feasibility to monitor these systems for degradation rates. In addition, economic data of mass transit system have been evaluated and extended to Maglev guideway systems. The maintenance cost data have been developed only to a limited degree. Finally, a set of options including a test plan in terms of laboratory, field experiment, and field demonstration phases is provided.

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