Effect of bending and compressive modulus of elasticity on the behaviour of timber-alternative railway sleepers supported by ballast

Salih, Choman ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8705-8779 and Manalo, Allan ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0493-433X and Ferdous, Wahid ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4473-4722 and Yu, Peng and Abousnina, Rajab and Heyer, Tom and Schubel, Peter (2021) Effect of bending and compressive modulus of elasticity on the behaviour of timber-alternative railway sleepers supported by ballast. Case Studies in Construction Materials, 15:e00597. pp. 1-14.

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Alternative railway sleeper technologies for replacement of timber are made of materials possessing a wide range of bending and compressive moduli. This poses a great challenge to railway authorities and engineers in designing a railway track supported by different sleeper technologies. This study evaluates the static behaviour of a railway track supported by different alternative railway sleeper technologies, i.e. recycled plastics (1.0 GPa), synthetic composites (7.4 GPa), timber (13.0 GPa), and low profile prestressed concrete sleepers (38.0 GPa), using a ballast box test representing a single sleeper section of a track. The deflection profiles along the length of the sleepers under a full service load was captured using Digital Image Correlation technique combined with the strain measurements at the top-centre of the sleepers. Three-dimensional Finite Element simulation of the sleepers’ behaviour based on the Beam on Elastic Foundation theory was implemented and validated by the experimental results. The results show that sleepers with bending modulus of less than 13.0 GPa will have W-shape deflection profile and a high rail seat deflection while sleepers with a bending modulus of 38.0 GPa will show nearly flat behaviour. Local deformation at the rail seat region accounts for almost 6 % of the total deflection of sleepers on a low subgrade modulus and as high as 10 % for high subgrade modulus. The results of this study provide a better insight into the in-track behaviour of alternative sleeper technologies having distinctive material properties.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Future Materials (1 Jan 2017 -)
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 03:34
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 00:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ballast box test; Beam on elastic foundation (BOEF); Composite sleeper; Compressive modulus; Modulus of elasticity; Timber-alternative sleeper
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090506 Structural Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400510 Structural engineering
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280110 Expanding knowledge in engineering
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cscm.2021.e00597
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/45683

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