Analysis and Design of Prestressed Concrete Sleeper

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Addis Ababa University


The track system consists of structural components like sleeper that has to be designed to accommodate the maximum tonnage. The main function of sleeper is to transfer the load from the rail to the ballast via the rail pad and to the under laying formation. The analysis and design of concrete sleepers requires the assessment of load on the sleepers, ballast pressure distribution, selection of the dimensions of the sleeper followed by bending moment calculations at rail seat and center section of sleeper and finally checking of the stresses in sleeper ensuring the factor of safety. The aim of this paper is to analyze and design a pre-stressed pre-tensioned concrete sleeper having an optimal shape, strength and tendon type and profile with reference to the current sleeper type which is used by ERC. The existing sleeper length, fastening system, spacing and area of reinforcement are maintained constant. The research is done by conducting literature review related to this paper work, design data and input parameters are collected from ERC, analysis of the existing sleeper have been made, proceeding the parametric optimization of new model with respect to geometry (shape), concrete grade, pre-stressing tendon type and profile. The optimization output shows that increasing the concrete grade results an increase in sleeper capacity but has no more effect on moment capacity which is largely dependent on the section dimension of the sleeper, tendon strength and eccentricity. Increasing the diameter of the tendons has direct relation on sleeper capacity and inversely related to pre-stresses losses which exceed the maximum limit beyond a certain magnitude (9mm diameter). The shape of the sleeper is investigated based on the ballast pressure which shows wider dimension at the end and tapering to the center; the reduction is gradual to avoid stress concentration. The final optimized design outputs and analysis result of the existing sleeper are compared with respect to raw material consumption for production and its capacity. The analysis and design of turnout sleepers, sleepers with additional rails, the effect of the length and spacing of sleeper on its capacity, and the fastening system with relation to lateral and longitudinal loading are recommended for further researches. Keywords: Analysis and Design, current (existing) sleeper, modeling, optimization, prestressed concrete sleeper



Analysis and Design; current (existing) sleeper; modeling, optimization; prestressed concrete sleeper