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APPRAISAL OF USED WOODEN RAILWAY SLEEPER

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Author(s): SITI HAWA HAMZAH | KHAFILAH DIN

Journal: Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
ISSN 1823-4690

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 224;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Used wooden sleeper | Bending test | Rail seat vertical load test

ABSTRACT
Replacement of wooden sleepers to prestressed concrete sleepers has marked as advancement in the railway sleepers industry in Malaysia. Despite superiority of these man-made composite sleepers, wooden sleepers still lead in terms of track performance qualities in particular on its natural elasticity. An initiative to investigate the degree of degradation of used wooden sleepers and the possibility of reusing them on low capacity railway track in Malaysia as a means of reducing the overall track rehabilitation cost was undertaken. Used wooden sleepers were tested according to Australian Standard, Railway Track Material, Prestressed Concrete Sleepers (AS 1085:14:2003) on Rail Seat Vertical Load Test and Centre Positive Bending Moment Test. Six wooden sleeper samples were tested under the static load until failure. Benchmarking was carried on high strength prestressed concrete sleeper, tested according to AS 1085:14:2003: Rail Seat - Positive Moment Test. The results obtained showed the maximum load that the used wooden sleepers can carry surpassed the design load of KTMB specifications and it is about 58% of high strength prestressed concrete sleeper.The maximum deflection produced by all used wooden sleepers is 20 mm showing that the sleepers maintained their elastic behaviour. Modulus of Elasticity ranging from 21 to 27 kN/mm2 of which within the standard value, indicating weathering process does not so much affect their stiffness. Most sleepers showed crack patterns propagated in the longitudinal direction. Toughness value is almost one half of the high strength prestressed concrete sleeper. This study indicates that there is a potential of reusing the wooden sleepers for light loading of the railway track. Hence, an extensive study is recommended to be carried out under fatigue loading condition.
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