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High Strength Reduced Modulus High Performance Concrete for Prestressed Concrete Tie Applications

The objective of this project is to develop and characterize a High-Strength Reduced Modulus High Performance Concrete (HSRM-HPC) and produce, test and qualify a concrete tie made of this material.  The proposed concept takes advantage of the high strength of HPC while preserving the structural flexibility of the timber or composite ties, as the HSRP-HPC elastic modulus is similar to that of regular strength concrete.  A recent pilot study on tie performance indicated that the use of HSRM-HPC reduces the stress amplitudes and, most importantly, regularizes the stress fields in the most critical areas of tie stress failure and improves the load distribution.  This concept leads to an inexpensive, technology-based modification of current practices in prestressed concrete tie technology that: (1) improves the safety of the rail service and maintenance operations; and (2) results to significant cost savings by increasing the life span of the tie and further decreasing the maintenance costs.

Funding agency: 
Federal Railroad Administration BAA-2014, CSX Transportation, KSA-Koppers’ Concrete Tie Division Inc.