Technical Reports

Construction Loads Experienced by Plastic Composite Ties

  • 24
  • Jul
  • 2014
AUTHOR: Richard Reiff
SUBJECT: Track, Tracks & Structures, Track/Train Interactions
KEYWORDS: Plastic tie, composite tie, tie insertion, tie nipping, bending loads
ABSTRACT: Damage to plastic composite ties during handling and track installation has been reported by a number of railroads. Results from a survey conducted to identify specific handling issues were used to develop field and laboratory tests to measure the loads plastic composite ties are subjected to during handling and installation. Results suggest ties that would otherwise pass current AREMA Chapter 30 qualification tests and survive in track may fail because of the single, one-time high loads they may experience during installation or handling. For this reason, users and suppliers should critically evaluate existing tests in order to determine if additional tests that apply higher, single-event loads should be added to the screening process. A summary of peak loads is provided in this report, along with suggestions to develop impact and bending tests that simulate those peak load levels for laboratory screening tests.