Fibre composite sandwich beam: an alternative to railway turnout sleeper?

Manalo, Allan and Aravinthan, Thiru and Karunasena, Warna and Douglas, Steven (2010) Fibre composite sandwich beam: an alternative to railway turnout sleeper? In: 2010 Southern Region Engineering Conference (SREC 2010), 11-12 Nov 2010, Toowoomba, Australia.

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The widespread deterioration of timber sleepers combined with an intensified pressure on limiting the use of hardwood timber because of various environmental concerns are the main drivers of research conducted throughout the world directed towards finding a suitable alternative for replacing timber sleepers. While many railway infrastructure companies have long been trialing pre-stressed concrete and steel for replacing timber sleepers, this has gained limited success as these materials have not proven reliable alternatives to timber turnout sleepers. Research and development has now been focused on fibre composites as this material can be made to have similar usability and design characteristics to hardwood timber with the added advantages. However, several challenges need to be overcome for fibre composite sleepers to become a suitable alternative to timber sleepers. This paper provides an overview of the various initiatives at the Centre of Excellence in Engineered Fibre Composites which aims to further the understanding of the design and performance issues associated with the eventual application of this new technology. Results of the on-going research and development on sleeper material made from a new generation fibre composite sandwich structure for replacement sleepers in a railway turnout are highlighted in this paper.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: USQ conference. Proceedings of this conference can be found at
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2011 05:29
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: railway sleepers; fibre composite; sandwich beam; timber sleepers; turnout
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090506 Structural Engineering
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090503 Construction Materials
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 87 Construction > 8702 Construction Design > 870201 Civil Construction Design
B Economic Development > 88 Transport > 8801 Ground Transport > 880102 Rail Infrastructure and Networks

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