Evaluation of an innovative composite railway sleeper for a narrow-gauge track under static load

Ferdous, Wahid and Manalo, Allan and Van Erp, Gerard and Aravinthan, Thiru and Ghabraie, Kazem (2018) Evaluation of an innovative composite railway sleeper for a narrow-gauge track under static load. Journal of Composites for Construction, 22 (2). pp. 1-13. ISSN 1090-0268


This paper introduces an innovative composite railway sleeper with an optimal material usage for a narrow-gauge railway track under static loading condition. The composite sleeper is designed using sandwich panels that were bonded and coated with epoxy polymer matrix. The sleeper’s optimized shape was obtained using topology optimization. The vertical deflection and sleeper-ballast contact pressure of the optimized sleeper were analyzed by finite-element simulation and compared with a traditional timber sleeper. Prototype sleepers were then manufactured and their performance was evaluated experimentally. Results showed that the optimal sleeper shape only needs 50% volume of materials required for a standard rectangular timber sleeper. The performance of the optimal sleeper satisfactorily met the Australian standard requirements and was very similar to a timber sleeper indicating the high potential of this sleeper technology to replace the existing timber sleepers. This new sleeper is currently being tested in the Queensland Rail network as part of their sleeper maintenance program.

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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, 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: 19 Jan 2018 05:07
Last Modified: 14 May 2018 03:48
Uncontrolled Keywords: composite railway sleepers, optimal shape, sandwich panels, epoxy polymer, finite-element analysis, performance of sleeper, installation
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: 10.1061/(ASCE)CC.1943-5614.0000833
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33526

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