Analysis on the behaviour of FRP reinforced concrete railway sleepers

Baker, Trent (2016) Analysis on the behaviour of FRP reinforced concrete railway sleepers. [USQ Project]

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The most commonly used materials for railway sleepers include timber, steel and concrete; with each of these materials possessing different characteristics that leave them susceptible to various failure modes. Due to this many sleepers fail before they reach their target design life, which is estimated to cost the Australian Railway Industry up to $80 million per year, therefore highlighting the need for a more durable sleeper design. This dissertation assesses the potential of concrete railway sleepers reinforced glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars as a solution to this problem.

The dissertation involved analysing the current proposed pressure distribution patterns under the sleeper for varied ballast conditions, to determine which assumed pressure distribution gave the most critical design forces. With the critical patterns determined the effect of key sleeper parameters of support modulus and sleeper modulus were then evaluated. The results indicated that the bearing pressure distribution had a significant effect on the design forces, while the other parameters’ effects were negligible.

With the critical design forces and corresponding parameters determined the required reinforcement layout for a narrow gauge concrete sleeper for both steel and GFRP bars were calculated. A finite element model was then developed for both alternative reinforcement materials, to compare and evaluate the performance of the new GFRP reinforced sleeper against a traditional steel reinforced concrete sleeper.
From the results it was concluded that the concrete sleeper reinforced with GFRP bars performs just as well as the steel reinforced sleeper, but due to the lower modulus of elasticity for GFRP compared to steel, this design requires a significantly larger percentage of reinforcement (approximately 50%) to meet serviceability requirements. Therefore, further work needs to be undertaken to determine if there is an overall cost benefit in adopting this new design.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major 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: 19 Jul 2017 01:19
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2017 05:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: railway sleepers; durable sleeper design; glass fibre reinforced polymer
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090503 Construction Materials
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400505 Construction materials

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