Composite railway sleepers – recent developments, challenges and future prospects

Ferdous, Wahid and Manalo, Allan and Van Erp, Gerard and Aravinthan, Thiru and Kaewunruen, Sakdirat and Remennikov, Alex (2015) Composite railway sleepers – recent developments, challenges and future prospects. Composite Structures, 134. pp. 158-168. ISSN 0263-8223


A number of composite railway sleeper technologies have been developed but their applications in rail tracks are still limited. This paper rigorously reviews the recent developments on composite sleepers and identifies the critical barriers to their widespread acceptance and applications. Currently the composite sleeper technologies that are available ranges from sleepers made with recycle plastic materials which contains short or no fibre to the sleepers that containing high volume of fibres. While recycled plastic sleepers are low cost, the major challenges of using this type of sleepers are their limited strength, stiffness and dynamic properties which in most cases, are incompatible with those of timber. On the other hand, the prohibitive cost of high fibre containing sleepers limit their widespread application. Moreover, limited knowledge on the historical long-term performance of these new and alternative materials restricts their application. Potential design approaches for overcoming the challenges in the utilisation and acceptance of composite sleeper technologies are also presented in this paper.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher's copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 06:41
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2016 00:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: Composite sleeper technologies; Railway sleeper; Application; Challenges; Future recommendations
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090506 Structural Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.compstruct.2015.08.058

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