Technical Reports

Cracking and Impact Performance Characteristics of Plastic Composite Ties

  • 01
  • Mar
  • 2012
AUTHOR: Richard Reiff and Carmen Trevizo
SUBJECT: Rail and Infrastructure Integrity, Track
KEYWORDS: High-density polyethylene; modulus of elasticity; modulus of rupture; plastic composite ties
ABSTRACT: As followup to a workshop on Engineered Composite Ties sponsored by the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association and the Federal Railroad Administration, the Transportation Technology Center, Inc., in Pueblo, CO, conducted a series of tests addressing material performance issues. A primary objective of the workshop was to identify performance concerns and potential areas of research by using input from the Class I railroad representatives. Class I railroads have installed plastic/composite ties in their tracks for several years for evaluation purposes. A panel of Class I railroad engineers attending the workshop noted tie cracking and fractures during handling, installation, and service as priority areas of concern.