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Effect of Extreme Climate on Topology of Railway Prestressed Concrete Sleepers

by 1,2 and 1,3,*
1
Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B152TT, UK
2
Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
3
Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, School of Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B152TT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2019, 7(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7010017
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 20 January 2019
Railway networks are exposed to various environmental conditions. It is thus critical that infrastructure components can tolerate such effects by design. Railway sleepers are a critical safety component in ballasted track systems. Prestressed concrete is currently the most common material for railway sleepers due to its superior advantages in structural performance, low maintenance, sustainability, and construction. In practice, many prestressed concrete sleepers are installed in harsh environments that are subject to various changes in climate. Environmental conditions are, therefore, one of the most critical phenomena affecting the time-dependent behaviour of prestressed concrete sleepers. Hence, the impact of climate changes on the serviceability of railway infrastructure needs to be thoroughly investigated. Temperature and relative humidity are crucial aspects that have not been sufficiently studied so far with reference to prestressed concrete sleepers embedded in track systems. This study aims to investigate the effects of extreme climatic conditions on the performance and time-dependent behaviour of prestressed concrete sleepers using contemporary design approaches. The issue concerning the effects of climate uncertainties on creep and shrinkage is rigorously investigated on the basis of both environmental temperature and relative humidity. The outcome indicates that environmental conditions play a vital role in the time-dependent behaviour of prestressed concrete sleepers. The insights will be essential for assessing the long-term serviceability of prestressed concrete sleepers that have been installed in railway lines and are subjected to extreme environmental conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate changes; railway infrastructure; prestressed concrete sleeper; time-dependent behaviour; relative humidity; temperature climate changes; railway infrastructure; prestressed concrete sleeper; time-dependent behaviour; relative humidity; temperature
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Li, D.; Kaewunruen, S. Effect of Extreme Climate on Topology of Railway Prestressed Concrete Sleepers. Climate 2019, 7, 17.

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