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On the residual energy toughness of prestressed concrete sleepers in railway track structures subjected to repeated impact loads

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Installed as the crosstie beam support in railway track systems, the prestressed concrete sleepers

    (or railroad ties) are designed in order to carry and transfer the wheel loads from the rails to the ground. It is

    nowadays best known that railway tracks are subject to the impact loading conditions, which are attributable

    to the train operations with either wheel or rail abnormalities such as flat wheels, dipped rails, etc. These loads

    are of very high magnitude but short duration, as well as there exists the potential of repeated load experience

    during the design life of the prestressed concrete sleepers. These have led to two main limit states for the design

    consideration: ultimate limit states under extreme impact and fatigue limit states under repeated impact

    loads. Prestressed concrete has played a significant role as to maintain the high endurance of the sleepers under

    low to moderate repeated impact loads. In spite of the most common use of the prestressed concrete sleepers

    in railway tracks, their impact responses and behaviours under the repetitions of severe impact loads are

    not deeply appreciated nor taken into the design consideration. This experimental investigation was aimed at

    understanding the residual capacity of prestressed concrete sleepers in railway track structures under repeated

    impact loading, in order to form the state of the art of limit states design concept for prestressed concrete

    sleepers. A high-capacity drop weight impact testing machine was constructed at the University of Wollongong

    as to achieve the purpose. Series of repeated impact tests for the in-situ prestressed concrete sleepers

    were carried out, ranging from low to high impact magnitudes. The impact forces have been correlated against

    the probabilistic track force distribution obtained from a Queensland heavy haul rail network. The impactdamaged

    sleepers were re-tested under static conditions in order to evaluate the residual energy toughness in

    accordance with the Australian Standard. It is found that a concrete sleeper damaged by an impact load could

    possess significant reserve capacity sufficient for resisting the axle load of about 1.05 to 1.10 times of the design

    axle loads. The accumulative impact damage and residual energy toughness under different magnitudes

    of probabilistic impacts are highlighted in this paper. The effects of track environment including soft and hard

    tracks are also presented as to implement design guidance related to the serviceability or fatigue limit states

    design.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Kaewunruen, S. & Remennikov, A. (2013). On the residual energy toughness of prestressed concrete sleepers in railway track structures subjected to repeated impact loads. Electronic Journal of Structural Engineering, 13 (1), 41-61.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84904541548

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3126&context=eispapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/eispapers/2117

Number Of Pages


  • 20

Start Page


  • 41

End Page


  • 61

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • 1

Abstract


  • Installed as the crosstie beam support in railway track systems, the prestressed concrete sleepers

    (or railroad ties) are designed in order to carry and transfer the wheel loads from the rails to the ground. It is

    nowadays best known that railway tracks are subject to the impact loading conditions, which are attributable

    to the train operations with either wheel or rail abnormalities such as flat wheels, dipped rails, etc. These loads

    are of very high magnitude but short duration, as well as there exists the potential of repeated load experience

    during the design life of the prestressed concrete sleepers. These have led to two main limit states for the design

    consideration: ultimate limit states under extreme impact and fatigue limit states under repeated impact

    loads. Prestressed concrete has played a significant role as to maintain the high endurance of the sleepers under

    low to moderate repeated impact loads. In spite of the most common use of the prestressed concrete sleepers

    in railway tracks, their impact responses and behaviours under the repetitions of severe impact loads are

    not deeply appreciated nor taken into the design consideration. This experimental investigation was aimed at

    understanding the residual capacity of prestressed concrete sleepers in railway track structures under repeated

    impact loading, in order to form the state of the art of limit states design concept for prestressed concrete

    sleepers. A high-capacity drop weight impact testing machine was constructed at the University of Wollongong

    as to achieve the purpose. Series of repeated impact tests for the in-situ prestressed concrete sleepers

    were carried out, ranging from low to high impact magnitudes. The impact forces have been correlated against

    the probabilistic track force distribution obtained from a Queensland heavy haul rail network. The impactdamaged

    sleepers were re-tested under static conditions in order to evaluate the residual energy toughness in

    accordance with the Australian Standard. It is found that a concrete sleeper damaged by an impact load could

    possess significant reserve capacity sufficient for resisting the axle load of about 1.05 to 1.10 times of the design

    axle loads. The accumulative impact damage and residual energy toughness under different magnitudes

    of probabilistic impacts are highlighted in this paper. The effects of track environment including soft and hard

    tracks are also presented as to implement design guidance related to the serviceability or fatigue limit states

    design.

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Kaewunruen, S. & Remennikov, A. (2013). On the residual energy toughness of prestressed concrete sleepers in railway track structures subjected to repeated impact loads. Electronic Journal of Structural Engineering, 13 (1), 41-61.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84904541548

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3126&context=eispapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/eispapers/2117

Number Of Pages


  • 20

Start Page


  • 41

End Page


  • 61

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • 1