Analysis of the behaviour of composite transom decks for railway bridges

Walker, Scott (2015) Analysis of the behaviour of composite transom decks for railway bridges. [USQ Project]


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Hardwood has been the preferred material for railway sleepers and maintenance work on existing timber sleeper track continues to be provided by hardwoods. Worldwide, there are more than 35 million timber sleepers required to maintain the track quality into a specified level of service. In Australia alone, railway lines require in excess of 2.5 million timber sleepers per year for railway maintenance. Over the past decade, it has been increasingly difficult to get good quality and large section of hardwood timber in quantities to keep up with demand especially in maintaining existing timber-sleeper railway lines. This trend is set to continue and will become critical within the foreseeable future, hence there is an urgent need to develop a sleeper product made from renewable resources.

Research and development has now focused on composite materials as the key performance characteristics of timber sleepers can be simulated using this material. Railway sleepers from composite materials showed the highest potential among the alternative sleeper materials for replacement of timber sleepers in the existing railway lines including transoms. Transoms are large sleepers used on railway bridges to transfer the loads from the rails to the bridge girders. In general there is no ballast present and the transoms have to transfer all the loads. The loads on the transoms depend on the position of the rails relative to the bridge beams. In Australia, the rails and the support beams are generally off-set which creates significant bending moments and shear forces in the transom. Thus, careful consideration is needed to account for the off-set of the rails in the design of the railway transom.

This project will investigate the potential use and analyse the suitability of composite sandwich structures in the development of transom decks for use on railway bridges. Finite element modelling and simulation using strand7 finite element software will be implemented to investigate the overall performance of the composite sandwich transom decks under the wheel loading due to the passing train. Conclusions on the suitability composite sandwich structures for use as transom decking is drawn, orientations and laminations determined as well as recommendations for future research suggested.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering Science (Civil Engineering) project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Manalo, Allan
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2016 05:49
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2016 05:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: composites; transom; decks; structural; bridge; railway
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090506 Structural Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400510 Structural engineering

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