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Investigation of Bending Test Procedures for Engineered Polymer Composite Railroad Ties

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Technical Report

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CTL Group Skokie United States

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The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory ERDC-CERL has been conducting investigations to help develop and evaluate engineered polymer composite railroad ties since 1993. Recent efforts, through funding and support from the Railway Administration, center around track safety issues relative to the use of these new products in mainline heavy-axle-load track. Performance criteria have been developed and published in Chapter 30 of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Associations AREMA Manual for Railway Engineering. One item not completely resolved in this engineering guidance is the test method procedure to measure the bending strength and modulus of elasticity stiffness of the composite ties. The objective of this investigation is to compare variations in bending strength test methods currently being used to measure strength and modulus values for engineered polymer composite railroad ties.

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