Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How to improve high-speed rail ties against freezing, thawing conditions

Date:
October 29, 2012
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Engineers are helping high-speed rail systems handle the stress of freezing and thawing winter weather conditions.

A Kansas State University-led research project is helping high-speed rail systems handle the stress of freezing and thawing weather conditions.

The university's Kyle Riding, assistant professor of civil engineering, is leading a three-year study that looks at the freeze-thaw durability of concrete railroad ties. The research is essential to developing safe and durable high-speed rail systems.

Riding is collaborating with Mohammed Albahttiti, civil engineering doctoral candidate from the United Arab Emirates; the university's Institute of Environmental Research; as well as a colleague at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and commercial partners Canadian National Railroad and CXT Concrete Ties Inc. The Federal Railroad Association recently awarded Riding more than $1.2 million to study the materials and fabrication process, and to develop quality control tests that ensure safe freeze-thaw durable concrete railroad ties.

"Freeze-thaw is a stressor that happens in pretty much all concrete when it is exposed to water and then freezing and thawing temperatures," Riding said.

When water freezes it grows in size by roughly 9 percent, Riding said. These increases, coupled with the decreases when the ice melts, cause stress on the container the ice forms in. When too much stress occurs the container can break -- similar to what happens when a full soda bottle is left in the freezer.

In concrete rail ties water collects and freezes in the pores of the concrete. As the liquid freezes it creates stress in the railroad tie, which can crack the ties. High-speed rail systems are more sensitive to these problems because of the high speed at which the trains travel on the tracks.

As high-speed rail systems become more widely adopted around the world, it becomes essential to keep passengers safe and maintain the rail system infrastructure against freezing and thawing conditions, Riding said.

To study the freeze-thaw conditions in concrete rail ties, researchers will add surfactants to the concrete as it is being mixed in the laboratory. These compounds produce millions of microscopic bubbles in the concrete that act as pressure release valves to help protect the concrete against damage.

One of the challenges will be to ensure that the bubbles are evenly dispersed through the concrete rail ties and small enough to protect the concrete from damage.

Researchers will evaluate the vibration conditions and air voids created by the bubbles in rail ties produced from various other materials, including surrogate clear materials, cement paste and mortars before scaling up to concrete. The ties will also be studied to determine if they get wet enough on the tracks to cause damage.

Additionally, the team is developing evaluation methods that will help railroad tie manufacturers determine the freeze-thaw resistance of concrete rail ties once they are produced.

"This is a good way to take fundamental science and apply it to a real-world application that will affect our transportation infrastructure and our communities," Riding said. "Plus, who doesn't like trains?"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "How to improve high-speed rail ties against freezing, thawing conditions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121029111210.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2012, October 29). How to improve high-speed rail ties against freezing, thawing conditions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121029111210.htm
Kansas State University. "How to improve high-speed rail ties against freezing, thawing conditions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121029111210.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins