Technical Reports

Freeze-Thaw Performance Testing of Whole Concrete Railroad Ties

  • 17
  • Oct
  • 2013
AUTHOR: Kyle Riding, Mohammed Albahttiti, Ahmad Ghadban, Cameron Stuart
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-13/39
SUBJECT: Track, Tracks & Structures
KEYWORDS: Concrete freeze-thaw durability, concrete railroad ties, ASTM C666
ABSTRACT: Freezing and thawing durability tests of prestressed concrete ties are normally performed according to ASTM C666 specifications. Small specimens are cut from the shoulders of concrete ties and tested through 300 cycles of freezing and thawing. Saw-cutting these specimens may cause eccentricities in the prestressing, stress relief, and micro-cracking that may affect the results of the freeze-thaw durability tests, leading to false interpretation of the data. Conversely, testing an entire concrete tie rather than a sample may provide more consistent and accurate results by eliminating saw-cutting damage and sample variability. Seven whole prestressed concrete ties, supplied by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), were tested for freeze and thaw durability using ASTM C666 procedures that were modified slightly to accommodate the large test specimens. Deterioration over 300 cycles was measured by weight loss, length change, and impact resonance measurements. The test results revealed no significant deterioration in the test ties.

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