Failures of mainline railway sleepers and suggested remedies – review of current practice

Ferdous, Wahid and Manalo, Allan (2014) Failures of mainline railway sleepers and suggested remedies – review of current practice. Engineering Failure Analysis, 44. pp. 17-35. ISSN 1350-6307

Abstract

Over the last two decades, the premature failures of traditional railway sleepers have significantly increased the track maintenance costs. The primary obstacle to minimising this problem is the lack of understanding of the mechanism of sleeper degradation. This paper discusses the different deterioration mechanisms for traditional timber, concrete and steel sleepers and the potential protective measures to minimise these problems. This paper exhaustively reviews the failure mechanisms of these three commonly used sleeper materials with suggested solutions. Fungal decay, end splitting and termite attacks has been identified as the principal causes of timber sleeper failures. On the other hand, concrete sleepers are vulnerable to rail-seat deterioration, cracking and damaging under different loading conditions and adverse environments. Steel's risk of corrosion and fatigue cracking makes it an inferior-quality material for sleeper. Solution approaches are recommended and provided in this paper in order to the best utilise these different railway sleeper materials. New materials are also introduced as effective alternative to replace the traditional railway sleepers.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2014 05:34
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2016 04:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: railway sleepers; failure mechanisms; protective measures; alternative sleeper materials
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090506 Structural Engineering
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090507 Transport Engineering
09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091307 Numerical Modelling and Mechanical Characterisation
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.engfailanal.2014.04.020
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25233

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