Determination of Prestressing Force in Railway Concrete Sleepers Using Dynamic Relaxation Technique

Alex Remennikov, Sakdirat Kaewunruen

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12 Citations (Scopus)
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Prestressed concrete sleepers (or railroad ties) are designed in order to carry and transfer the wheel loads from the rails to the track foundation. Over a period of time, a railway track could experience various types of static and dynamic loading conditions, which are attributable to commercial train operations. Previous studies have established two main limit states for the design consideration of concrete sleepers: ultimate limit states under extreme impact and fatigue limit states under repeated probabilistic impact loads. Prestressed concrete has played a significant role as to maintain the high endurance of the sleepers under low to moderate repeated impact loads. In spite of the most common use of the prestressed concrete sleepers in railway tracks, their remaining lives are not deeply appreciated nor taken into account for track maintenance and renewal. This experimental investigation was aimed at determining the residual prestressing force of railway concrete sleepers after revenue services using the dynamic relaxation technique. Fifteen sleepers were extracted from a heavy haul rail network for testing using experimental facilities at the University of Wollongong Australia. Structural evaluation program included quasi-static bending tests, dynamic impact tests, and tests to establish the current level of prestress in the steel wires using the dynamic relaxation technique. Two of the sleepers were evaluated for the level of prestressing forces in accordance with Australian Standards. It is found that the level of prestress determined using the dynamic relaxation technique turned out to be significantly lower than that expected from the theoretical analysis of time-dependent prestressing losses for the concrete sleepers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)04014134-1 - 04014134-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Performance of Constructed Facilities
Issue number5
Early online date11 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Remennikov, A. and Kaewunruen, S. (2014). "Determination of Prestressing Force in Railway Concrete Sleepers Using Dynamic Relaxation Technique." J. Perform. Constr. Facil., 10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000634, 04014134.


  • Prestressed concrete sleeper
  • Remaining prestressing force
  • Accumulative damage
  • Dynamic relaxation technique
  • Ballasted railway track


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